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Will Microsoft's new Windows Tablet be a Zune or an Xbox 360?
Forbes ^ | 6/17/2012 | Ewan Spence

Posted on 06/17/2012 8:54:11 AM PDT by SmokingJoe

It looks like Microsoft are about to launch their own Tablet device, probably running a version of Windows 8 (and yes, I’m assuming Taniyama-Shimura once more). I’m fully expecting a lot of commentators to talk about how inexperienced the Redmond based company is at making hardware. So let me point out two counter-examples before the big event for your consideration.

I’ll start with the Xbox 360. It’s had a pretty rough ride in terms of hardware with the Red Ring of Death and numerous issues early in the life cycle of the platform, but as Microsoft have understood the issues, the return rate has dropped to levels expected in the industry.

With over 67 million 360 units sold, don’t tell me that the 2012 iteration of Microsoft can’t do hardware. Xboxes continue to shift by the truck-load. It’s one of Redmond’s success stories of recent years, and is one of the major components in the digital assault on home media.

Then there’s the Zune HD. I’ll declare an interest here, and out myself as someone who actually bought a Zune HD early in 2010, and the 32GB unit is still going strong. The final portable media player in the Zune line got everything right – a touch screen display, a slick user interface that put the focus on exploring your music collection which of course was an early iteration of the Metro UI we see around Microsoft’s latest products. It made music fun, and was streets ahead of the iPod touch for listening and watching media

(Excerpt) Read more at forbes.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; Technical
KEYWORDS: ipad; micorsoft; microsoft; nokia; tablets; windows8; xbox; zune
Zune HD In terms of design and build quality. XBOX 360 in terms of fuctionality, the superb XBOX Live and sales and market share.
1 posted on 06/17/2012 8:54:16 AM PDT by SmokingJoe
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To: SmokingJoe
And it took them 3-4 versions of each one before they figured out that people wanted something that didn't suck.

Will the tablet be any different?

2 posted on 06/17/2012 8:58:26 AM PDT by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
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To: SmokingJoe

I think it may come down to pricing. All of the decent tablets with decent memory (iPad, Xyboard, Xoom) run in the $500+ range.

If they can create a tablet that is Kindle priced and doesn’t require service contracts with a provider (Imagine a $99 WiFi w/ no service contract from a wireless carrier) it would break open a lot of markets.


3 posted on 06/17/2012 9:03:55 AM PDT by mnehring
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To: Izzy Dunne
And it took them 3-4 versions of each one before they figured out that people wanted something that didn't suck”

Umm...no.
The first XBOX worked just fine, Halo(1) XBOX Live were great from the get-go. No RROD’s on the original XBOX. So it took them one version to get the XBOX right.
Plus worldwide, the original XBOX outsold the Nintendo Gamecube, which was released at about the same time as the XBOX.

Will the tablet be any different?”

Read the above.

4 posted on 06/17/2012 9:07:28 AM PDT by SmokingJoe
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To: SmokingJoe

After 10 versions they can’t get something that should be as intuitive as Windows Media Player right.

Windows Mobile has always sucked.

They expect me to believe that now they figured out how real human beings interact with devices?

Color me skeptical.


5 posted on 06/17/2012 9:12:35 AM PDT by freedumb2003 ('RETRO' Abortions = performed on 84th trimester individuals who think killing babies is a "right.")
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To: SmokingJoe
So it took them one version to get the XBOX right.

Well, my definition of "right" doesn't include a 30-50% failure rate on the XBox 360.

6 posted on 06/17/2012 9:13:08 AM PDT by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
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To: freedumb2003
Color me skeptical.

Sounds like, from your perspective, Microsoft has never, and will never, get anything right.

When it comes to Microsoft, it's more about disliking the company, than about the facts.
7 posted on 06/17/2012 9:17:26 AM PDT by adorno
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To: freedumb2003
After 10 versions they can’t get something that should be as intuitive as Windows Media Player right.

Huh?

Windows Mobile has always sucked.

It's Windows Phone now for you mate, and its great. The Lumia 900 running Windows Phone is Amazon's highest rated smart phone, even with more reviews than any other smartphone.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/top-rated/wireless/2422313011/ref=zg_bs_tab_t_tr?pf_rd_p=1331612862&pf_rd_s=right-8&pf_rd_t=2101&pf_rd_i=list&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=1QC8YMZF5NWE6JWPBPT7

They expect me to believe that now they figured out how real human beings interact with devices?

Naaaah. They don't expect anything from any Applebot. Applebots will be Applebots. Nothing new in that. Meanwhile, the XBOX says, “Hello!”

Color me skeptical.

**Rolls eyes”. Call me not surprised by that reaction.

8 posted on 06/17/2012 9:20:34 AM PDT by SmokingJoe
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To: adorno

>>Sounds like, from your perspective, Microsoft has never, and will never, get anything right. <<

Windows is pretty good, well, every other release is (of course you have to replace your system with one twice as powerful to run the latest one). Remember the definition of Windows 7 — “XP that works.”

Office was great. Well, until Office 2010, which ruined a perfectly good product. And I am an extensive user of Office so don’t tell me that is “perception.”

I will stay with Windows as my platform, but I don’t trust Microsoft to make anything untrained people can use (XBox was a fluke).

For the moment, Microsoft is a fact of life. Were Windows to be widespread replaced tomorrow and no longer necessary, I would not shed tear one, despite my extensive knowledge (I can still do Netbios, although they ruined that, too).


9 posted on 06/17/2012 9:23:56 AM PDT by freedumb2003 ('RETRO' Abortions = performed on 84th trimester individuals who think killing babies is a "right.")
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To: SmokingJoe

I do not own a single Apple device. My wife has an iTouch and we will be replacing that spoon.


10 posted on 06/17/2012 9:25:15 AM PDT by freedumb2003 ('RETRO' Abortions = performed on 84th trimester individuals who think killing babies is a "right.")
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To: Izzy Dunne
Well, my definition of “right” doesn't include a 30-50% failure rate on the XBox 360.

Chuckle! You obviously can't read. The first version of the XBOX was umm.. the XBOX (aka XBOX 1), which had no RROD, was very sturdy and reliable, and had about the same return rate as other consumer electronics item. XBOX 360 is the SECOND version of the XBOX. And did I mention it outsold the Nintendo Gamecube?
Get it, Mr “Refuse To Face Reality” Applebot?

11 posted on 06/17/2012 9:26:50 AM PDT by SmokingJoe
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To: SmokingJoe

>>Huh?<<

Media Player continues to be unusable crapware.


12 posted on 06/17/2012 9:27:07 AM PDT by freedumb2003 ('RETRO' Abortions = performed on 84th trimester individuals who think killing babies is a "right.")
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To: SmokingJoe

Does MS still sell the Xbox at a loss, or are they finally making a profit from it?


13 posted on 06/17/2012 9:28:08 AM PDT by AFreeBird
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To: freedumb2003
Media Player continues to be unusable crapware.

I won't even bother to repudiate that ridiculous assertion.

14 posted on 06/17/2012 9:32:19 AM PDT by SmokingJoe
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To: freedumb2003

>>Windows Mobile has always sucked.

Agree. But at TechEd last week I had the opportunity to hold a Win Phone with the Metro UI. I liked it. For a device the size of a Win Phone the Metro UI is comfortable and makes sense.

For a Tablet, OTOH, I’m not so sure. There were a fair number of folks using tablets at TechEd, and I watched how they used them. I didn’t see anybody using a touch-screen keyboard with the same efficiency as those using a laptop keyboard.

Tablets may be great for consuming whatever, but I don’t see them as a device for producing content upon.

I don’t see a tablet replacing my laptop. But I might consider one for reading Kindle books.


15 posted on 06/17/2012 9:33:18 AM PDT by OldEarlGray (The POTUS is FUBAR until the White Hut is sanitized with American Tea)
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To: SmokingJoe
OK, I'm not a gamer, so I don't know the versions.

So they got it right, THEN made one that has 30+% failures, and took several tries to get that straightened out.

OK, whatever. Good luck with your purchase.

16 posted on 06/17/2012 9:36:52 AM PDT by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
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To: SmokingJoe
Rumor has it Zune is to renamed xbox music

http://www.thewindowsclub.com/microsoft-kill-zune-brand-introduces-xbox-music-features-services

17 posted on 06/17/2012 9:37:46 AM PDT by stylin19a (Obama - The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance)
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To: AFreeBird
Does MS still sell the Xbox at a loss,”

No

or are they finally making a profit from it?”

They are, with the caveat that they don't actually seperate XBOX profits from that of Windows Phone etc which are all part of the Entertainment and Devices Division of Microsoft.

Microsoft's Xbox 360 Division Sees $1.32 Billion Profit For Fiscal Year 2011

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/36011/Microsofts_Xbox_360_Division_Sees_132_Billion_Profit_For_Fiscal_Year_2011.php

18 posted on 06/17/2012 9:39:07 AM PDT by SmokingJoe
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To: SmokingJoe

Why dont we ask the internet?

“OMG I hate M$. This is gonna be so FAIL. M$$$$ needs to go out of business and stay out of EVERYTHING. Windows8 is retarded ugly! Vista 33.0!!!! Open source is the future! Ipad rulz! Nobody I know likes Windbloz 8. Steve Ballmer is a monkey boy!!!!!”

So yeah I guess that clears that up.


19 posted on 06/17/2012 9:39:25 AM PDT by VanDeKoik (If case you are wondering, I'm STILL supporting Newt.)
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To: SmokingJoe

>>I won’t even bother to repudiate that ridiculous assertion.<<

I (try to) use it. It is a contention. It sucks.


20 posted on 06/17/2012 9:46:09 AM PDT by freedumb2003 ('RETRO' Abortions = performed on 84th trimester individuals who think killing babies is a "right.")
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To: SmokingJoe; VanDeKoik
Setting aside the typical fanboy blind support for products that haven't appeared and therefore haven't been evaluated much less succeeded or failed yet(*), I hope that Microsoft has used their long delay time wisely and will introduce a solid product with a well thought-out plan for how to make it compete against the deeply entrenched iOS and Android products.

Hardware-wise, over the years Microsoft has had a few great products and a number of embarrassing failures.

Software-wise, I've been working with advance copies of Window 8 for the better part of a year, and I think it'll probably do well on touch-based hand-helds given a solid hardware platform to run on. (I personally can't stand it on a desktop or laptop without touch, but that's irrelevant for a tablet which is touch by definition.)

I think Microsoft is very smart to do their own hardware on this. I honestly wish them the very best of luck, given that they're so late starting out of the gate, and at such a disadvantage market-wise.



(*) Which applies equally to the fanboys of Microsoft, Apple, Linux, etc.

21 posted on 06/17/2012 10:04:55 AM PDT by dayglored (Listen, strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government!)
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To: SmokingJoe
My wife and I just got the Lumia. It's taking some getting used to. So far I like it. It's huge compared to most phones. Watching movies via Netflix is a pretty good view. Sounds okay but haven't used phones yet.

I wish it would give me more user choices. Like how to remove apps, etc.

However, they are using policies from Apple. You can't directly connect to a Windows machine and download pics, music, etc. You have to go through Zune where they hide all the easy stuff and cover it up with ads and offers to sell you apps.

There is no "explorer" so you really don't know what's on the phone.

Can't figure out how to use Skype for videos calls either. I'm sure there is a way but I don't think even they know how it's going to work, yet.

22 posted on 06/17/2012 10:08:21 AM PDT by raybbr (People who still support Obama are either a Marxist or a moron.)
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To: freedumb2003
I have Apple products and MS products. iTunes is no better than Media Player. You just have to learn how each one works. IMHO much of Apple's software is less, not more intuitive. The “everything just works” description of Apple stuff is laughable. Now, once you get comfortable with it it works just fine, and there are applications where MS does not work as well.
23 posted on 06/17/2012 10:08:58 AM PDT by jdsteel (Give me freedom, not more government.)
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To: Swordmaker

The hardware will have to be slowed down in order to give it decent battery life — but MS will sell the imaginary sizzle and probably do pretty well (at first).


24 posted on 06/17/2012 10:11:11 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Swordmaker; ShadowAce
You guys may be interested.

ShadowAce: Probably warrants a Tech Ping, there being no "Microsoft Ping List" or "Windows Ping List" as such.

Swordmaker: This is more a personal ping than a request for a list ping. I respectfully advise against an Apple ping, given that this is a purely Microsoft/Windows thread and deserves a chance to have a reasonable discussion without getting disrupted (taking a cue from the Apple threads which have historically been pounded on and disrupted by Apple-haters).

25 posted on 06/17/2012 10:15:55 AM PDT by dayglored (Listen, strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government!)
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To: SunkenCiv
> The hardware will have to be slowed down in order to give it decent battery life — but MS will sell the imaginary sizzle and probably do pretty well (at first).

Let's hope they've done better than that. It would be a shame if, after all this time, the best they can do is only as good as the competition's last-year's offering.

For a Microsoft tablet to succeed, it will have to be AT LEAST better than the iPad-2 in every respect except iOS. And that's quite possible given Microsoft's considerable resources.

I personally don't think Windows 8 will be the equal of iOS out of the gate, though (like Windows against OS-X) it deserves a chance to mature and stabilize. Windows 7 is a great OS. Windows 8 ... we'll see.

26 posted on 06/17/2012 10:21:21 AM PDT by dayglored (Listen, strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government!)
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To: SmokingJoe

I’m an Android guy, but I played with a Lumia 900 recently, and I was really impressed. That thing was blazing fast. I don’t love that grid start page thing, but all the other areas of the UI looked beautiful.


27 posted on 06/17/2012 10:34:10 AM PDT by catbertz
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To: SmokingJoe

Only the fool gives MS a less than 80% chance of eventually dominating the tablet market.


28 posted on 06/17/2012 10:48:14 AM PDT by Bobalu (It is not obama we are fighting, it is the media.)
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To: mnehring

one report says they have 85.00 cost to vendor for win8 built in - so 99.00 is going to be hard.


29 posted on 06/17/2012 10:49:11 AM PDT by q_an_a (the more laws the less justice)
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To: Bobalu
I tend to agree. I think MS has been biding it's time examining the markets before jumping in with both feet.

MS has a huge cash cache to spend now and I think it knows where to put it.

30 posted on 06/17/2012 10:52:18 AM PDT by what's up
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To: dayglored

Thanks dayglored. Mea culpa, this is a different product than what I'd read about. FRchives:
31 posted on 06/17/2012 10:56:41 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: SmokingJoe
Microsoft Rule #1: Never buy version 1.0 of anything Microsoft puts out. Wait for version 3.0. No, it won't be complete, but with work, it may float.

Microsoft Rule #2: Since you are signing up to provide lifetime, unpaid, support to your own product, consider your new purchase your new hobby.

... and so it goes

32 posted on 06/17/2012 11:12:59 AM PDT by aMorePerfectUnion ("I'm comfortable with a Romney win." - Pres. Jimmy Carter)
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To: mnehring
If they can create a tablet that is Kindle priced and doesn’t require service contracts with a provider (Imagine a $99 WiFi w/ no service contract from a wireless carrier) it would break open a lot of markets.

That already exists for around $250... I bought my Sprint Samsung Galaxy Tab 7 used, but I have seen the new Galaxy Tab 7+ which has a more powerful processor and internal memory but no cellular connectivity advertised for $250. Of course there are larger Galaxy Tab models that cost more.

I bought my Galaxy Tab 7 used six months ago through Ebay for $200. I have never actually used it with Sprint. According to the forums many others are using them on Boost Mobile who supposedly has an “unlimited Internet plan” for $15 a month. It is extremely compact, has WiFi of course, the battery lasts all day even when you are using it to surf the net, two cameras so you can video conference or take halfway decent pictures, has a great screen, bluetooth, an HDMI adapter that cost me $20, GPS, Micro-SD memory expansion, a fast processor, and so far every program I have downloaded for it has been compatible.

I was actually planning on buying a Color Nook, or Kindle Fire to read Ebooks on, but found great Android GPS software for our airplane. I bought an inexpensive yoke mount and it fits and works much better than my Garmin Aviation GPS that cost many times more. That is not actually a fair comparison because the Garmin was purchased 20 years ago and has only about a 2.6” monochrome display.

This thing has been so much more useful than I thought it would be. I already had unlimited internet access through Sprint on my phone. I use the phone as a wireless hotspot and use the tablet for surfing when I am at work or on the road. I also bought a little combo bluetooth keyboard/case for $20 so that I can type out messages more quickly. It just looks like a little day planner.

33 posted on 06/17/2012 11:14:57 AM PDT by fireman15 (Check your facts before making ignorant statements.)
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To: OldEarlGray
"I don’t see a tablet replacing my laptop."

...which is exactly why ultrabooks are coming on so strong.

34 posted on 06/17/2012 12:28:17 PM PDT by RightOnline (I am Andrew Breitbart!)
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To: SmokingJoe
Not only does their hardware suck, some of their OS software is equally sucky:


35 posted on 06/17/2012 12:42:41 PM PDT by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: SmokingJoe

So how long before Ubuntu is running well on it?


36 posted on 06/17/2012 12:43:58 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Let me ABOs run loose Lou!)
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To: SmokingJoe

The industry rags are saying Win 8 is fine for tablets, terrible for desktop/laptoo. The desktop/laptop users should stick with Win 7.


37 posted on 06/17/2012 12:54:37 PM PDT by Myrddin
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To: Myrddin; SmokingJoe

Much as I dislike windows 8 on a desktop, I admit it runs faster than win7 on the same hardware.


38 posted on 06/17/2012 1:23:32 PM PDT by dayglored (Listen, strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government!)
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To: SmokingJoe

When will somebody please start a Microsoft or Windows ping list? I would do it if I had the time. Alas, I don’t.

If you do start one, please add me to it. Thanks!


39 posted on 06/17/2012 1:29:31 PM PDT by dayglored (Listen, strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government!)
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To: SmokingJoe
Naaaah. They don't expect anything from any Applebot. Applebots will be Applebots. Nothing new in that. Meanwhile, the XBOX says, “Hello!”

Congratulations! Less than 10 posts to the first personal insult. You'll have to be faster if you want to get into the top 5.

40 posted on 06/17/2012 9:54:13 PM PDT by zeugma (Those of us who work for a living are outnumbered by those who vote for a living.)
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To: rdb3; Calvinist_Dark_Lord; Salo; JosephW; Only1choice____Freedom; amigatec; stylin_geek; ...

41 posted on 06/18/2012 4:51:44 AM PDT by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: rdb3; Calvinist_Dark_Lord; Salo; JosephW; Only1choice____Freedom; amigatec; stylin_geek; ...

42 posted on 06/18/2012 4:52:26 AM PDT by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: SmokingJoe

good point.


43 posted on 06/18/2012 6:43:16 AM PDT by Cronos (**Marriage is about commitment, cohabitation is about convenience.**)
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To: dayglored

“apple hater”? come on, it’s just a company that makes tech products — consumer tech products. It lives from release to release


44 posted on 06/18/2012 6:56:37 AM PDT by Cronos (**Marriage is about commitment, cohabitation is about convenience.**)
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To: Cronos
> “apple hater”? come on, it’s just a company that makes tech products...

I suspect perhaps you did not frequent the Apple threads much in the last few years. The vicious, unwarranted hateful personal venom that has been heaped upon those who like Apple's products by some of those whom I labeled "Apple haters" was astonishing. It got so bad at one point that Jim Robinson has had to step in and declare the personal attacks unacceptable for Free Republic. There is, of course, some amount of similar hatred expressed towards Microsoft/Windows, and occasionally towards Linux and other open source offerings -- fanboys of company X always have to trash fanboys of company Y to try to compensate for their own inadequacies...

It's not so bad these days, just the usual juvenile trolling, name-calling, baiting... :)

Anyway, my comment above was only intended to point out that this thread was a Microsoft / Windows thread and should be given the same respect that is requested for Apple, Linux, etc. threads. Hopefully we can encourage the haters, of all stripes, to show more respect for the opinions and preferences of others, despite the differences.

45 posted on 06/18/2012 7:50:30 AM PDT by dayglored (Listen, strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government!)
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To: mnehring
I think it may come down to pricing. All of the decent tablets with decent memory (iPad, Xyboard, Xoom) run in the $500+ range.

All the reporting I've been reading suggest that the pricing may be $1500 to $2000, unlikely to be below $1000. Low end will not be available until late Fall. The Pro version of Surface will not be available until early 2013. Looks like MS is not selling a competitive product against the sub-$500 market. And it will be late to market.

46 posted on 06/18/2012 9:46:00 PM PDT by roadcat
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To: dayglored
ok, but I seriously don't get fanboys of either Microsoft or Apple (or any other company) -- they're consumer product companies for heaven's sake, not a deep philosophy.

The philosophical difference between open-source and closed I can understand (I work on closed source but open-source can be better for learning), but between two consumer companies that may not exist tomorrow depending on how hot their products are or aren't I do not understand being a fan-boy of either...

47 posted on 06/19/2012 1:21:04 AM PDT by Cronos (**Marriage is about commitment, cohabitation is about convenience.**)
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To: Cronos
> ...I seriously don't get fanboys of either Microsoft or Apple (or any other company) -- they're consumer product companies for heaven's sake, not a deep philosophy.

Oh, I agree. But consider that overarching loyalty to a given computer company (even though one is only a customer, not an employee) is not surprising, when you reflect on the number of sports fans who are overarchingly loyal to a given sports team even though they are only spectators, not team members. It's not unusual for sports fans to cause riots and kill people. Thank God that FR is only an internet forum.

I suspect there is something in the human psyche that makes certain people go insane about whatever organization they associate themselves with, and lose their cool about whatever organization they compete with. And as you say, it has little or nothing to do with a philosophy. It's fandom.

48 posted on 06/19/2012 7:23:52 AM PDT by dayglored (Listen, strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government!)
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To: dayglored
I suspect there is something in the human psyche that makes certain people go insane about whatever organization they associate themselves with, and lose their cool about whatever organization they compete with. And as you say, it has little or nothing to do with a philosophy. It's fandom.

good point -- do you eat boiled eggs big-end or little-end up? ;-P

49 posted on 06/20/2012 12:58:52 AM PDT by Cronos (**Marriage is about commitment, cohabitation is about convenience.**)
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