Microsoft set to unveil an Xbox or Windows RT tablet?
- 15 June, 2012 17:28
Some analysts are speculating that Microsoft will unveil a Windows RT-based tablet at a major media event the company has scheduled for Monday afternoon in Los Angeles.
One unnamed source told TheWrap.com that the tablet will be built my Microsoft itself.
Others are suggesting that Microsoft will be introducing an Xbox tablet variant?
Overall, there are many opinions on Microsoft's plans as it readies itself to enter the touchscreen tablet space now dominated by Apple with the iPad.
Rob Enderle, an analyst at Enderle Group suggested on Friday that Monday's announcement could be an Xbox-like tablet subsidized with games that users would buy. "Xbox does do announcements in L.A., and they did just announce Xbox SmartGlass at the E3," he said.
Or, Enderle added, the news could be merely a speculative product "designed to get the industry excited" with a focus on the tablet as a content-consumption device. "Content is where I think Microsoft is focused," he said.
The location of the event might be the biggest clue, several analysts said. As an entertainment capital, L.A. could offer the backdrop for media content on any new tablet, including games, movies, or more.
Some bloggers have suggested that a content-consumption tablet could be targeted at the $200 Kindle Fire from Amazon rather than the new $499 Apple iPad.
"If it is a game, or is entertainment consumption-oriented, then Tinseltown makes sense," said Jack Gold, an analyst at J. Gold Associates.
He said the source for TheWrap.com story could be mistaken, and Microsoft could instead be unveiling an Xbox portable device rather than a full Windows RT machine.
Gold said that if Microsoft does announce a Windows RT machine, it will probably cost $600 to $800, the price tag most observers expect other RT tablets to carry, "unless Microsoft plans to take a loss on each device sold because they have to buy the same components as everyone else."
Gold said Microsoft would not ultimately be able to compete with Amazon on price since costs would be higher for an RT machine and there is no clear pathway for Microsoft to recoup subsidies it might pay to attract consumers.
"If Microsoft wants to offer their own branded device, something competitive to Fire makes much more sense to me than a general purpose tablet," he added.
The idea that Microsoft has actually manufactured a tablet was dismissed by analysts who suggested that such a device would be built by a contract manufacturer. "Buying manufacturing capability would be exceedingly foolish," Enderle said.
Gold said there's also a possibility that Microsoft will be showing off a reference platform to show what the Windows RT machine could do. That would be the design that other manufacturers would implement, and those companies include Asus, Lenovo, Acer and others.
He said Microsoft would not want to compete with its own vendor ecosystem. "That makes about as much sense as Microsoft building PCs to compete with HP, Dell, and others," he said.
"I can't imagine Microsoft would tick off Asus and others an more than by directly competingwith them on hardware while also charging them a license fee for software every time they sell a device," Gold added.
Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen, or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed . His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more about mobile and wireless in Computerworld's Mobile and Wireless Topic Center.
Join the CIO Australia group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.
- The Foundation for Cloud Management
- Buy Vs. Build - Embedding Business Analytics Into SaaS or Cloud Applications
- Making the Right Storage Choices: 10 Must-Ask Questions
- Cloud ready business intelligence with Oracle Business Intelligence 11g
- IBM PureFlex System - The infrastructure system with integrated expertise
Larry Page wants to see your medical records
Dual-Persona Smartphones Not a BYOD Panacea
After two-year hiatus, EFF accepts bitcoin donations again
CIOs struggle to deliver timely mobile business apps: survey
Spiceworks' free management software gets integrated MDM
Mobility Apps: What every developer should know
Learn how others have delivered industry-leading, multi-platform management and security solutions. In this whitepaper, we look how app developers can develop, deploy and manage apps that enterprises can rely on today and into the future. Click to download!
Building Maturity and Experience in Successful Virtualisation Strategies
Current trends in the adaption and deployment of virtualisation suggest that as an organisation gains experience, each implementation requires a different technique. A stratified approach to a company’s long-term virtualisation and cloud computing strategy allows the right skills set to be built alongside the resolution of each scale and complexity issue presented. Read more to understanding where you are and how you can compare for the future.
Moving to a Private Cloud? Infrastructure Really Matters!
The Cloud isn’t about locality. It is about quality of service delivery, cost, and whether the services consumed satisfy our objectives. For the enterprise, you need to select the right QoS to mitigate the inherent risks or you face the problem of losing data and the ability to execute operationally. Read on.