Microsoft internal slides reveal iPad competitor plans

By Tom Warren, on 24th Jan 11 9:20 pm with 4 Comments

Microsoft has prepared a number of PowerPoint slides to help the company defend against Apple’s iPad enterprise adoption.

ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley posted a number of slides on Monday from a pack entitled “Microsoft Commercial Slate PCs” that the company is offering out to reseller partners. The slides make no reference to Microsoft’s next-generation of Windows or the rumored tile-based user interface codenamed Mosh. The slides do reveal common questions from Microsoft’s enterprise customers. Microsoft lists the iPad’s form factor appeal, long battery life and end user interest as positives for the device. Microsoft rounds off the slides with an overview of Windows 7 Slates designed to meet enterprise end-user needs.

Microsoft has promised a “major revamp” of Windows for slate applications, that will come in the next version, Windows 8. The software giant has been criticized for its slow response to Apple’s iPad device, introduced in April, 2010. Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, previously said Windows 7 based Slates would be available “as soon as they’re ready” when questioned earlier in 2010. Microsoft’s hardware partners introduced a range of new form factors at CES, a mix between traditional Slates and laptops.

Samsung unveiled its Sliding PC 7 series Windows 7 Slate hybrid at CES earlier this year. The device features Intel’s 1.66GHz Z670 Oak Trail processor, 10.1″ touchscreen, 32GB SSD and 2GB of RAM. The tablet ways just 2.1 pounds and will retail in March for $699. The iPad currently retails at $499 and sold three million units in its first 80 days of release. The iPad is currently selling approximately 4.5 million units per quarter, Bernstein Research estimates.

Microsoft Chairman, Bill Gates, said earlier last year that the company has a lot of different tablet projects it is pursuing. Microsoft canceled their internal Courier project shortly after the release of the iPad. The project was an innovative new tablet concept that had promised to combine a dual screen book design with finger and stylus input. The leaked promotional materials demonstrated various concepts that would have brought an unparalleled productivity tool to the market. Most media outlets and analysts felt the move to cancel the device was a mistake.

Dell also unveiled a hybrid “touch and type” Windows 7 Slate device in late November. The device currently retails at at $549 in U.S. stores. Microsoft rarely acknowledges the iPad or its sales influence. Windows general product manager Gavriella Schuster previously admitted that netbooks running Windows are “definitely getting cannibalised” by the iPad.

Microsoft's iPad slide

  • YouArePwned

    Is the slide proved to be genuine? Seems like yes, Microsoft has always done that.

  • Aaron Delgadillo

    Courier Dreaming!

  • Rafael R.

    Why does Microsoft have to always try and fit everything into everything? Fuck Enterprise users, make a consumer-only device for once, christ.

  • Tim Acheson

    No, Microsoft isn’t doing anything to “fend off” the iPad in the enterprise. (Let’s not pretend iPad is really in the enterprise, as Microsoft’s products certainly are.) But they will profit from the perceived demand stimulated by Apple’s incredible marketing and PR.

    The Asus Eee Slate, being a full-power Windows 7 PC, is the 1st hardware of this type that I’m likely to buy and use.

    iPad is an overpriced toy.