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Microsoft says tablets a "bit of a drag" on PCs

updated 06:40 pm EST, Thu January 27, 2011

Microsoft admits tablets had an effect on Q4 2010

Microsoft in its the call for its fiscal results acknowledged that tablets like the iPad were having an effect on the computer market. The company saw some of the PC sales volume being replaced with tablets and sometimes ultraportables. As tablets were secondary devices that weren't direct computers, they had created a "little bit of a drag" on the market, the company said.

Netbooks were also cast as past their prime. While notebook sales were healthy, netbooks were on the decline. Most of the growth in the fall came from business buyers upgrading their systems rather than home users.

As the provider of the OS for most computers, Microsoft was upbeat about the total market even as it leveled out. The field reached an all-time high of 90 million PCs shipped, but it grew a total of just two to four percent. Not all PC builders have reported their results so far, but the performance would put Apple's 23 percent Mac growth at about six to twelve times the industry average.

The remarks are part of an unusual reverse course for Microsoft. It denied any effect from the iPad when reporting its summer quarter but, in the immediate aftermath, began to hint that it was seeing some cannibalization as buyers skipped netbooks for tablets. The acknowledgement is the first in a quarterly result and suggests Microsoft is now more consciously aware of an impact for the iPad and, gradually, Android slates on its bottom line.

By Electronista Staff


  1. Mr. Strat

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Jan 2002


    Who wants Windows on a tablet?

    They're a drag on Microsoft products because they're running either iOS or Android. Windows bites and nobody wants it on their tablets.

  1. Paul Huang

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 1999


    Computing without walls

    Computing without walls has become reality.

    If there are no walls, there can't be windows.

  1. iphonerulez

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Nov 2008


    Windows fanbois need Windows tablets...

    What good is a tablet that doesn't have a stylus? You can quote Bill Gates on that. Bill Gates' tablet dream is a Windows tablet in one hand and a stylus in the other while quickly jotting down notes like a personal secretary would. Unfortunately for Microsoft, very few consumers if any share that dream.

  1. drbenru

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2007


    What tablets?

    Asides from the iPad what other tablet has been around last year? The Galaxy barely entered the market at the very end, and as much as they tout it as a 7" tablet have you seen the comparison between a 7" and a 10" tablet? Take a look at this picture to get an idea

    Thats not a tablet, its a plus size phone. Everyone in the tech industry has been talking all of last year about tablets this, tablets that, meanwhile the only real tablet is the iPad. Is it really that hard to say iPad instead of this myth of the tablet market. Android phones are a reality, the tablets on the other hand are nothing but concepts and vaporware.

  1. ethical_paul

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2002


    It's not cannibalism

    It's not cannibalism when Apple takes a sale away from a Windows PC maker. Geez quit misusing this word, The Media!

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