Hedge fund exec says Microsoft's Ballmer an anchor
Dissent around Microsoft's leadership became more public Wednesday with a speech from Greenlight Capital manager David Einhorn. The hedge fund operator told those at the Ira Sohn Investment Research Conference Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer had to "give someone else a chance" at the top spot. He considered the early Microsoft executive the "biggest overhang" on Microsoft's stock because he was mired in traditional behavior.
Microsoft CRO Mundie doubts tablets will last
Microsoft's research and strategy chief Craig Mundie at a Committee for Economic Development of Australia event cast doubt on the long-term viability of tablets. He wasn't sure the iPad or its kind would "remain with us or not" and instead repeated Microsoft's existing strategy of Windows notebooks and Windows Phone handsets. A notebook would be a "portable desk," he said, while the smartphone would be "your most personal computer."
Microsoft SCCM will remote admin Android and iOS
Microsoft at its Management Summit on Wednesday surprised guests by revealing that the next version of System Center Configuration Manager would give remote control for rival mobile platforms. A beta and final versions will allow monitoring for Android, iOS, and Symbian in addition to Windows Phone 7. It justified the extra support as grappling with the "consumerization" of IT that let companies bring in devices their workers really wanted but while keeping them relatively secure.
N-Trig to have Android support
N-Trig hopes to revive the mostly dead market for pen-based tablet computing with Android support, VP Gary Baum said Monday. The company plans to supply screens for several Android tablets next year that would recognize pressure-aware pens. One unnamed device would ship in the first half of the year, Baum told AllThingsD in a conversation.
Ballmer says iPad sales make Microsoft uneasy
Developing a Windows-based alternative to the iPad is a "job one urgency" at Microsoft, company chief Steve Ballmer said today during the annual Financial Analysts Meeting. He admitted that Microsoft was uncomfortable with how well iPads were selling and was tuning both its software and hardware partnerships to provide a competitive option. Besides altering Windows 7, it's counting on Intel's Oak Trail Atom platform and plans to push hardware makers "as soon as they are ready."
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.
iPad overwhelms Tablet PC in Euro sales
The iPad nearly tripled sales of tablets in Europe during just its first month on sale, Context Research estimated this week. Apple's tablet was only available from May 28 in the continent, but by itself grew the market by 257 percent. The figure is one of the few specific to the continent and suggests that the combined Windows tablet PC market in Europe for spring was well below the hundreds of thousands of iPads likely to have been sold.
Microsoft founder ambivalent on Apple tablet
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates in a new interview offered up mixed praise for the iPad. When asked his opinion, he said that "it's okay" and characterized it more as an attractive design than a truly useful product. He wasn't certain how it could be used compared to other computing devices.
iSuppli sees iPad at 7m now, 14m in 2011
Apple could sell as many as 7.1 million iPads in 2010 alone, iSuppli estimated today. Analysts believed that a strong wave of early adopters and those simply drawn to a tablet design should be enough to push millions of iPads each quarter this year. It would be enough to at least temporarily overcome the lack of Adobe Flash and could actually be conservative if Apple upgrades features or cuts prices quickly, the study creators said.
And Apple retail preorders may reach 700 per store
Apple could have 200,000 iPad pre-orders within just a week, according to new estimates. After discounting non-iPad orders, well-regarded unofficial analyst Daniel Tello has determined that Apple has obtained about 180,000 pre-orders for the tablet as of mid-Wednesday. While the rate has slowed to about 10,000 advance requests per day, the figure would be enough to pass the 200,000 mark by Friday.
Apple may pass 1m iPads sold 2 weeks post-launch
The rate of iPad pre-orders has cooled but could still lead to major sales even before the tablet ships, an estimate from the AAPL Sanity board suggests. Following an earlier calculation of 120,000 on day one, the board now believes that Apple landed 152,000 pre-orders over the weekend and is settling down to rates of 30,000 pre-orders on a typical weekday and 15,000 each day on weekends. Without a significant change, the rate while lower would still have Apple ship 510,000 iPads just for these customers.
Gartner also sees PC shipments up 20pc this year
Portable computers like notebooks and tablets should make up 70 percent of computers in just two years, Gartner predicted today. The category was already more than 55 percent of the market last year but should keep growing through 2012 based on ultraportables and tablets like the iPad. Apple's device, along with other tablets and conventional tablet PCs, should help push the number of tablets on the market to to 10.5 million just this year.
Bill Gates wants iPad more like Tablet PC
The iPad needs to be more like the Tablet PC to be successful, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates argues in an interview today. He admits that he sees the Apple device as a "nice reader" but says he's not envious of the design as it doesn't have the hardware he feels would be needed to reach critical mass. While the iPhone was clearly an improvement versus Windows Mobile, the iPad isn't enough like a conventional portable to break through, Gates says.
MS PR says effect more important than problems
Microsoft corporate communications head Frank Shaw has quickly rejected former VP Dick Brass' assertions that the company is no longer innovative by citing examples of what Shaw views as success. The PR leader believes Microsoft should be seen by its "broad impact" and notes that, in spite of ClearType's delays, it's now on more than a billion PCs. Scale is more important than speed, he argues.
Past MS VP says infighting, fear of hardware hurt
Microsoft has largely lost its ability to direct the industry, former VP Dick Brass claimed today in a telling editorial. He believes the company is now a "clumsy, uncompetitive innovator" and points to the gap in performance between its core Windows and Office businesses versus everything else. Microsoft had its best-ever quarter due to Windows 7 but lost share in nearly every other category, including web browsers, premium notebooks and smartphone sales.
Apple banking on color and apps
With the launch of the iPad today, many have been proclaiming the death of e-book readers like the Kindle -- as well as yet-to-be-released devices like the HP slate. However, the comparison isn't actually quite so simple and could potentially leave Apple hurting. We're taking a close look at how Apple's tablet stacks up against not just its most obvious competitor today but its expected rival in the future.
Apple to drive growth of new touch devices
Thanks to key releases, tablets are about to have their "breakout year" and move tens of millions of units, Deloitte says in a new long-term estimate. Apple's expected tablet unveiling as well as the eventual launch of the HP slate should help fuel the otherwise quiet category, which includes any Internet-aware, touch-only device larger than a smartphone but smaller than a netbook. Author Paul Lee anticipates that tablets could account for up to over $1 billion in sales and eclipse the GPS market.
Fujitsu tablet PC spotted
The Fujitsu ST6000-series Internet tablet PC first unveiled late last month has been spotted again, undergoing testing at the FCC, suggesting the product is that much closer to production. According to the included owner’s manual, the 12.1-inch tablet will sport a maximum 1600x1200 resolution and not, as previously advertised on the company website, 1920x1200. Other specs, however, such as its 1GB of RAM expandable up to 4GB and choice of two hard disk drives or a solid-state drive, are confirmed.
TechCrunch tablet PC
Michael Arrington, the founder of TechCrunch, is planning on creating his own affordable tablet PC, as he feels the market is lacking one. To this end, he launched the Techcrunch Web Tablet Project. To keep prices "dirt cheap," Arrington suggests the PC would ideally run a Firefox interface disguising a Linux kernel. Arrington is calling for any interested parties to help out with the open-source programming of the interface, offering an example of the tablet once it's completed as a reward.
Dell Latitude XT Specs
Dell today officially confirmed many of the details of its Latitude XT tablet. The Texas PC maker hopes to distinguish its first ever touchscreen PC by making it one of the lightest available: at 3.57 pounds, the system will be relatively easy to carry, Dell hopes. The new convertible Latitude will also have the choice of either a thin, LED-backlit screen or an outdoor-focused screen that remains more visible in daylight. Weight and speed can also be improved through storage; while up to a 120GB traditional hard disk is available, up to a 64GB solid-state drive should improve boot times and reduce weight.
Toshiba Portege M700
Toshiba on Monday has capitalized on last-minute holiday sales by announcing the Portégé M700. While a tablet like some earlier models, the new 12.1-inch system is built for a level of speed not often found in the class: a base system starts with a 2GHz Core 2 Duo with an 800MHz bus and optionally scales up to the latest 2.6GHz model. The M700 also distinguishes itself by including both active and passive input, allowing users to press both with their fingers or with a stylus on an anti-glare LED screen the PC builder says is much more useful in outdoor light.