Microsoft Getting into the Tablet Business?

By Gary Kim June 15, 2012

Microsoft reportedly is set to unveil a tablet June 18, 2012, that will mark its entry into the tablet business. This will not mark the first time Microsoft has gotten into the business of selling its own branded products. It has done so in the game console business with Xbox and in the MP3 player business with Zune.

But Microsoft has stayed out of its partners' PC business. You can argue a tablet isn't a PC, even though people use it in place of a PC. But Microsoft has drawn the conclusion that there is not a channel conflict if it creates its own tablet.

As young as the tablet business is, segments already are developing, ranging from the smaller seven-inch form factors better suited to e-reading, to Apple's market-leading segment. But it might be reasonable already to suggest that a user's choice of a tablet might hinge on the lead apps that user wants to engage with. 

Either an Android or Apple device arguably works well either as a Web browsing platform or as an app platform. The Kindle Fire and Barnes and Noble’s Nook work better as e-reading devices. Microsoft's device might appeal more to users whose primary applications are Web-based, as its app store is relatively less developed than Apple's or Google Play, some might argue. 

And though Lenovo Group Ltd. CEO, Yang Yuanqing argued early in 2012, there’s scant room for growth in the tablet market, lots of people might not agree.

It is harder to disagree with his contention that devices running Google software will keep trailing the iPad. Virtually all forecasts now suggest Apple will retain a rather commanding lead in the foreseeable future. 

But much could change, over time, as distinct tablet niches could emerge. Some think tablets eventually will be a more suitable device for content creation as well. The issue is where the Microsoft offering might wind up. 

Edited by Brooke Neuman

Contributing Editor

Related Articles

Amazon Pulls Apple TV, Google Chromecast from its Store

By: Kyle Piscioniere    10/2/2015

The move is a blow to all three companies; Apple and Google lose the retail giant's highly visible sales platform, while Amazon loses the valuable ins…

Read More

Google and Microsoft Settle Patent Disputes

By: Doug Mohney    10/1/2015

Google and Microsoft have agreed to end a group of 20 smartphone and video game lawsuits in the U.S. and Germany. The battles started in 2010 over roy…

Read More

After Embroiled CEO Search, Twitter Expected to Reappoint Dorsey

By: Kyle Piscioniere    10/1/2015

Jack Dorsey, current founder and CEO of the payment company Square and founder of Twitter, is expected to retake the helm as Twitter's CEO without res…

Read More

Google Dives into RCS, Buys Jibe Mobile

By: Doug Mohney    10/1/2015

Rich Communications Services (RCS) is a controversial topic in net purists' circles and the discussion just got hotter: Google has purchased Jibe Mobi…

Read More

Carriers Play Critical Mobile Finance Role

By: Tara Seals    10/1/2015

More than 68 percent of consumers have yet to use mobile financial services, but that number is changing as mobile broadband continues to roll out glo…

Read More