Microsoft seems to waiver between dismissing the tablet market as a non-issue, and embracing the tablet market…when the time is right. Microsoft is taking its time jumping into the tablet fray, which I have previously thought foolish. But, perhaps there is a spark of genius in the “wait and see” strategy.
Other vendors are rushing ahead at their own peril. Their strategy seems to be more like rushing in with a blindfold on and hair on fire and hoping something works. The Samsung Galaxy Tab was going to be an “iPad killer”, then the Motorola Xoom, then the BlackBerry PlayBook, and there will continue to be more.
The problem is that these tablets focus too much on hardware specs–processor, memory, etc.–and not enough on actually delivering a solid user experience that people are willing to pay for. Some of the tablets–namely the BlackBerry PlayBook–seem like a beta unit that still needs some finishing touches developed before it should be offered for sale.
The Apple iPad, and now the iPad 2, continues to sell as fast or faster than Apple can produce them–easily outselling all rival tablets combined…by a lot. Many will enter the market, and many will fail. Eventually the dust will settle and only a couple tablet players will remain. Meanwhile, Microsoft can take its time, learning from other’s mistakes and developing a solid mobile OS and tablet experience, and come in with guns blazing ready to fight.
Only time will tell if that strategy is sound, but what we know for a fact so far is rushing a product to market is not the way to go.