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Microsoft studying iPad owners in attempt to chase Apple

updated 07:45 am EDT, Tue July 13, 2010

MS holding iPad focus group

Microsoft revealed the pressure it feels from the iPad today as it has posted an open call on Facebook for a study of iPad owners. The Windows developer's User Research team hopes to have two-hour focus groups at its campus between July 16 and July 21 asking owners how they use the Apple tablet. It didn't provide any particular clues as to the direction of the research.

While Microsoft often conducts research to gauge how users treat its own products, it doesn't often directly solicit input on competitors. The study suggests the company is genuinely concerned about its position in the tablet market and either hopes to alter Windows' tablet experience to better match the experience driving customers to iPads or to develop a newer experience of its own.

The Redmond, Washington-based company has long been one of the earliest advocates for tablet computing and began pushing them as early as 2002, but it has been frustrated as emphases on notebooks and pen-based input, as well as offshoots such as UMPC and Origami, have left the Tablet PC concept a niche even eight years later.

Microsoft's most conspicuous attempt to preempt Apple, the Courier dual-screen tablet, was ultimately cancelled at the concept stage for unknown reasons. It was widely rumored as a device intended for production, but the frenzy surrounding the iPad and possible internal debates about the Courier's feasibility may have cut its production short.

By Electronista Staff


  1. facebook_Pete

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jul 2010


    new low...

    I'm shocked Microsoft has to stoop to a new low to create their own tablet PC by asking iPad users how they use their iPads. It just goes to show how long the copier machines has been going at Redmond and Microsoft lack of candor on their bluffs how they are "innovators" of technology.

  1. coffeetime

    Senior User

    Joined: Nov 2006


    waste of another $$$$$ for research

    The best thing to do is to use it themselves, that includes Ballmer, to get the feel of what iPad is all about.

  1. Paul Huang

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 1999


    How about starting with the iPhone

    While the iPad is not exactly an enlarged iPhone (for obvious reasons, just look at google map), the iPhone 4 could work as a reduced version of iPad.

    Ballmer needs to brush the cow chip off of his shoulders.

  1. nat

    Junior Member

    Joined: Mar 2002


    an idea

    when was the last time ms had one? an original one that is. "me too" is neither innovation nor invention.
    without the twins this company would have nothing. no search, no msn, no hotmail, no zune, no xbox, no phone 7, no future tablets. all money losers, the lot of them.
    and for those who say the xbox is very popular, don't forget it lost enough money to build another frickin international space station before it saw a profitable quarter.

  1. iphonerulez

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Nov 2008


    I'm sure the consumers won't be asking for

    a full desktop version of Windows (7) and a stylus that Microsoft has been trying to force on consumers since the beginning of time. I wouldn't doubt that Microsoft has to do a survey because they clearly don't understand consumer' needs. Things like ease of use is totally foreign to Microsoft. It's always "Let's stuff this puppy with everything to keep the geeks happy." Now they'll probably just see what the iPad has and add just a smidgen more hardware and refer to their tablet something like "the better iPad". You won't catch Ballmer playing with any iPad and he'd never admit to liking it. Microsoft appears to have a "simple sucks" mentality.

  1. chas_m



    As Nelson said:

    HA HA!

  1. Foe Hammer

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2005


    Focus Groups

    A wise mentor of mine always called them Fucus Groups. He said the first clue that a company or a product development team has no clue is that they conduct focus groups. They inevitably scream "We need outside input! We're too close to the problem!" The reality is they're not close enough.

  1. Paul Huang

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 1999


    fuckus group

    Hmmmm, maybe that's what Microsoft ought to call it.

  1. gitcypher

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2007



    You guys are classic.

    Did it even cross your minds that holding focus groups with the iPad could be used to develop SOFTWARE for it? Even the idiot editor of this article played into his fanboyism assuming that Microsoft's efforts were an "attempt to chase Apple." Then turned around and explicitly stated that MS "didn't provide any particular clues as to the direction of the research."

  1. nat

    Junior Member

    Joined: Mar 2002



    gitcypher, you go with that.
    perhaps this "idiot" editor is spot on, no?

    if you want to have your take on it go write your own article. then we can come by and say what an idiot the editor is and why didn't it cross this idiot's mind that they're chasing apple in the tablet market.

    you see how that's done pumpkin? someone writes their take on something. that's all. no deep thoughts required. that's their take. just like your take, as idiotic as it is, is that it's about software.

    both could be right or wrong. and, obviously, both could be idiots, but i doubt it would have anything to do with the article.

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