Microsoft planning attack on iPad

Microsoft has started it's war against Apple's iPad, handing their reseller partners material to show their customers pointing why the iPad is not the solution they should be using for their enterprise needs. Distributed starting around December of last year, the material lists reasons why people should either move away from the iPad for enterprise needs or why they should not go towards the iPad in the first place.

Absent from the anti-iPad materials seems to be information on what Microsoft plans to utilize on their own future tablets to combat the 7.3 million iPads sold in Q1 2011. Given past demos of Windows 7 tablets, most notably the HP Slate tablet, were far from touch friendly, and Steve Ballmer keeps insisting the touch-optimized Windows Phone 7 platform is staying put, that leaves Windows 8 on the table... when it gets ARM optimized in 2 years...

Meanwhile Apple is citing an unprecedented enterprise adoption rate with over 80% of Fortune 100 companies piloting or actively deploying iPad already. Microsoft is right to be worried but are these PowerPoint slides enough or do they have to field an actual device to compete with Apple?

[ ZDNet ]

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Microsoft planning attack on iPad

23 Comments

This is hilarious.Microsoft says Don't use the ipad because it doesn't do these things, but they don't have a credible alternative. Who are they kidding.

Not to toot Apple's horn but with corporate exchange support wouldn't you be able to do most of those six things Microsoft is asking about? Remote kill if lost, deploy apps, etc.

Yes, everything on the right side can be done easily with remote apps, like Citrix or an RDP client.

Sort of -- but there are several classes of uses and applications for which remote applications just will not cut it, because the remote UI does not translate well or the network is missing/latency is too high to make it usable. For those people, a laptop/netbook is still a far more appropriate choice.
But those numbers are shrinking, and Microsoft knows it. This is simply an attempt by marketing to slow the bleeding until their engineering can come up with a credible answer.

Good luck with that, Microsoft. Not only do they not have a viable alternative, but the slide above poses six questions which all have answers. Glad to see Microsoft is sticking with the FUD strategy that got them where they are today. Thank goodness others prefer to innovate.

Microsoft is good at reaching the decision makers in the enterprise and "wowing" them with powerpoint stats (not to mention nice dinners and sporting events) Apple doesn't have this presence, they just have good products.
We are at a time when good products are winning out against old ways of thinking, but Microsoft still has a long arm... when they get a VP or C level executive to buy in, its over for the competition. This is too bad. Unfortunately for these executives their jobs will be on the line a year or so from now when Microsoft once again misses the boat.
That old adage that you never get fired for recommending Microsoft is no longer true.

As a follow-up... businesses are no longer sitting around waiting for IT to come up with solutions. This is bringing things like iPads into the enterprise faster than IT can support them. MIcrosoft doesn't have the ear of the business as much as they do IT, so in this regard they are losing.
Business executives won't be as easily fooled as IT will...

What I've seen happening is executives (and users) telling the IT staff that they had better do their job more effectively, which in many cases means supporting the Mac. Many paper MCSE types have been anti-Mac for years and have steadfastly refused to support the Mac with outdated claims of interoperability issues. Also, claiming that the marketshare was too small to bother with. Now with the iPad & iPhone having HUGE marketshares, that argument is hollow.

It's a valid microsoft point. I'm an IT prof. and we have lost half of our staff over the last year due to budget restrictions etc. Meanwhile, gobs of iphones, ipads and andriod phones are being dumped on my dept and we are being told we have to support them. Without a way of managing these devices in a central location, it's extremely hard to keep a secure and working environment. That's microsofts point, not that you shouldn't use an ipad/iphone, but CEO's need to understand that all these manual, (as in not part of the corp. domain) put a huge burden on their shrinking IT staff. Just imaging having to support double the amount of devices in your job without adding staff, and then having people get mad at you when you don't know every option on every phone/device and can't help them over the phone, meanwhile you have 10 other calls right behind that call. I guess Mac people can't understand this though since they don't have anything similar to Active Directory, or a server product or a corp email server...

Microsoft is in the unenviable position of being too large to move nimbly or quickly, and too dumb to have seen the iPad coming, even though there were probably thousands of iPhones right in their faces on the Redmond campus. Was there really no one at Microsoft who said, "If Apple ever made a big one of these, it would be trouble"? I'll bet somebody did say that, and even had a product proposal circulating, which was shot down by the "visionaries" who decide such things. Hopefully those people have since been fired, but in the meantime Microsoft must scramble to avoid being left behind. I understand why they think Windows 7 and its humongous ecosystem is their big advantage, but they can't get there in time to prevent a total loss in this space. Eventually the PTBs will give the Win Phone team permission to try to save the day. The question is whether that will happen in time to prevent defeat.

Well, Microsoft showed Apple a thing or two on the desktop, then they killed off the iPod, then they destroyed the iPhone.. so OBVIOUSLY it's time for the big boys to speak up and tell us all why Apple's latest triumph is a terrible failure. I'll bet Gartner has some data about how the other shoe is going to drop someday in the distant future when that report is forgotten.

Gartner? Luckily, people aren't just listening to them and Microsoft anymore. iPads are going to be huge in the enterprise and there's nothing they can do to stop it.

I think its comical a company such as Microsoft is bashing on the iPad with NOTHING to offer to better users experience. I could see if they at least had something but they don't.

You have it completely, utterly, 100% backwards. If they had something better to offer, they would likely not be bashing (though Apple IMHO had a better computing platform in the mid 2000s and still based 99% of their marketing on bashing Microsoft, so obviously that is not always true).
Companies always exaggerate their own strengths and their competitors' weaknesses. That's almost a marketer's job description. They can tout the strengths of netbooks/laptops, and they sort of do that here, but half-heartedly. The tablet space may eat at laptops, but it is a separate space, and customers who want a tablet will likely remain unconvinced by netbook strengths. Because MS does not have an exact tablet analogue, they have to point out (what they regard as) weaknesses of the iPad. They have no other choice; their marketing needs to keep the laptop/mobile dam from bursting before their engineering is ready to catch their share of the flood. They ain't there yet, and they know it.

Typical Microsoft. Try to tell me why something doesn't suit my needs without offering any other solutions. And when they do offer solutions, they generally either suck or are a bad ripoff of something someone else already did.
I think I'll stick with my iPad and iPhones, thanks.

Microsoft has been trying to "do" tablets for years - They have yet to bring something that really works to the table. Windows X just doesn't work in the tablet form factor. I have had a Lenovo tablet for years and it is a POS - Mostly because of Windows. Sorry, but Microsoft just doesn't get it - Or didn't until Apple showed everyone how a tablet is supposed to look/act/feel...

If so bad, why did they create the OneNote app? Our IT folks are working on the citrix farm to make it possible to read, and work with exchange/outlook/office on the iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad.

Oh Microsoft.. Don't you remember.. It was a spring day in 2005. I took you to the park. I held you in my arms. You weighed a ton, took forever to boot up, needed arcane stylus input and then I couldn't even gaze into your big blue monitor while in direct sunlight. Just then, your battery started to die.
That's when I decided we should just be friends. You didn't take it as well as I had hoped. Now you're trying to make yourself hotter then my current iPad girlfriend. Just don't. It makes you look desperate.

Wow, all these apple people drinking the kool-aid and missing the point. The ipad is NOT a corp device. It can be used in the corp to do certain tasks, however, for the most part it is a stand alone product. They aren't saying don't use/buy and ipad/ipad, they are bringing up the point that they are currently difficult to manage as part of your windows domain. Remember apple fans, you need a windows domain to get your exchange business email. I get tired of apple people blaming microsoft because they don't support their every new device, without microsoft, you wouldn't even have a corp network to connect to!! Why not blame apple for not including active directory authentication into the ipad? Or create an AD plug-in so they can join the domain, and be managed through AD? Sounds like apple is more to blame here than MS.

Brian- There always has to be the one that wants to find the good in what's being bashed. You're completely and utterly alone in this one though. You don't think the iPad is a corporate device... How about Deutsche Bank? Did you miss that article? If you missed it, here's the article... http://www.tipb.com/2011/01/25/deutsche-bank-blackberry-iphone-ipad-trial/
I have a friend friends who work for Fortune 100 companies who have converted over to the iPad and they all love it and don't use it as a stand alone product!