Does Microsoft have a winner?

VentureBeat: “Real innovation has been laid upon innovation here. If Microsoft stood on the shoulders of giants who started this tablet revolution, the company has done its predecessors proud. The keyboard cover is sheer genius — whether or not you believe that text entry is a key part of the next generation of computing devices”

I really hope Microsoft can deliver this device, and I hope it succeeds. A real competitor to iPad will make Apple step up its game, which is good for consumers and developers. We all win.


Kindle Fire

Yesterday Amazon announced its long awaited 7″ multi-touch tablet, dubbed the Kindle Fire. If you’re into computing you probably heard about it. I haven’t held the device, much less used one, but I think Amazon has hit a home run. I predict this will become the second most popular tablet device on the market in short order. I’m not sure what their current Kindle sales numbers look like, but Amazon will push this device hard around the holidays. They’ll sell.

Why they’ll sell

People like my wife is why they’ll sell. She’s had a Kindle for at least three years now and loves it. She has a large library of books in her Amazon library, she’d like to have a tablet, and, here’s the crazy one, she likes to play Flash based games on Facebook. That’s right Flash. The Kindle Fire, according to the website, “Supports Adobe® Flash® Player.” That means she can play all those games she likes. The Fire is also a media player. You can listen to your music library and watch movies. Hey, if you’re an Amazon Prime member you can stream movies and T.V. shows for free from their library of over 10,000 titles. Not bad. Oh, and you get all this for $199.00.


Can you believe that price? I can’t. I figured it would come in around $350 to $400. Amazon has just taken over the low end of the tablet market with, what appears to be, a great device. This brand new, ready to be fully supported by Amazon, device is priced only $50 above the TouchPad that HP is abandoning. Unbelievable, and unbeatable, price.

Kindle Fire

What about the software?

Do people care about the operating system? Well, sure, some of us do. There are those of us that care deeply about the operating system. Some will say Amazon doesn’t care, others will completely disagree. I think Amazon does care about the OS, that’s why they played the ole sneakaroo with Google. It’s rumored they took a cut of Android, prior to Honeycomb, to use as their new tablet OS. I’d say it was genius. Not only will the Fire become the second most popular tablet device, it will become the top Android powered device, much to the chagrin of Google. I don’t think Amazon really cares that deeply about Android, but they needed an OS for their new device. It was a means to an end. They’ve equipped the Fire with a great set of software pre-installed and they have their own App Store with fully vetted applications. That’s important. They’re building a safe ecosystem for their users and creating an OS to build their future on. For Amazon, it’s all about the user experience.

I think things are going to get very interesting in the tablet space.

Kindle Fire

Apple Google Microsoft

Ballmer on Tablets

CNN Money: “The CEO claimed that Microsoft needs to take its time to get its products just right to compete in the intensely scrutinized tablet space. He said that chipmaker Intel (INTC, Fortune 500) will be coming out next year with a tablet-specific processor called “Oak Trail” that will help manufacturers make better tablets that run Windows 7.”

I find it interesting that Intel is now making tablet specific chip sets, after Apple ships a highly successful device. Ballmer also states that the Windows based devices will likely be cheaper than the iPad.

I guess we’ll see. I hope they’re good because that’ll just push Apple and others to make better devices, which makes things better for all of us.

I’d also expect to see some Android based devices hitting the market pretty soon.

Apple Business iPad Mobile

Being first isn’t always good

Green Apple LogoScobleizer: “It’s sad that Bill Gates tried to get Microsoft to deliver the Tablet PC vision but Microsoft mostly failed where Apple has largely succeeded. Some because the market is more ready for a Tablet PC today (we have wifi in a lot of places now, and 3G coverage is getting there). Some because technology has evolved (battery life is dramatically better than back then and lighter too). Some because prices have come down.” – Think about Apple for a minute, their successes, their failures. The iPod, Sony was in this space long before Apple. Apple perfected it, brought us integration with the desktop, and great online store integration. The iPhone, there were many, many, other cell phone companies. Apple perfected the smart phone, brought us integration with the desktop, a great online store, and the web anywhere, at any time, the way we wanted it, and gave developers a way to make money and not have to worry about distribution. Now, we have the iPad, Apple has once again perfected, or at least have a great start to perfecting it. Apple brought us great integration with the desktop, a great online store, web anywhere, books anywhere, movies anywhere, and gave developers a great way to make money and not have to worry about application distribution.

See a pattern here? Apple may not be first, but they definitely know how to perfect the user experience.