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Microsoft predicts the demise of tablets

Between a rock and a hard place
Wed Mar 30 2011, 15:45

SOFTWARE SELLER Microsoft has forecast that tablets will be squashed by the closing space between mobile phones and ultra-portable computers.

Swimming against the tide of vendors lining up to develop tablets, the Vole's chief research and strategy officer Craig Mundie gave a vexing explanation while predicting the death of tablets.

Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH), Mundie reckoned that tablets won't be around for long as they'll get squeezed by the ever decreasing gap between smartphones and laptops. Making tablets sound like they emerged fully formed from some kind of Twilight Zone between hardware categories, Mundie said he didn't know if they would "remain with us or not".

"These are going to bump into one another a little bit and so today you can see tablets and pads and other things that are starting to live in the space in between," Mundie told the SMH.

"Personally I don't know whether that space will be a persistent one or not," he added.

There are already a few Windows 7-based tablets coming out but Microsoft is only adding the OS to the mix. Microsoft is even working on a tablet-optimised OS but that's not due until September 2012, years after every other competitor will have jostled for their own slice of the tablet pie.

Mundie's position highlights Microsoft's reluctance to build a tablet. That's despite soft-spoken Steve Ballmer's previous claims that it would be bringing tablets out, and then doing a 180 on his promise. Microsoft pulled the plug on its Courier tablet last year before it was released and hasn't made any commitments since then.

Mundie admitted Microsoft didn't jump on the distinction between mobile phones and portable computers soon enough but claimed that the company will go after the smartphone market.

He said that the boffins at Microsoft are working on a phone that beams light directly into your eyes so you can view HDTV. Didn't we see that in an episode of Star Trek? µ


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