*yawn*…slow day today…
While it’s a fair assessment overall, Goldman have their heads so far in the sand about Windows 8, it’s not even funny.
They just released the following…
Goldman Sachs is maintaining their Neutral rating on Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) as the company shares noteworthy information with investors this past week. Some of that information includes things like; their shift away from Intel exclusivity for its next OS, continued executive departures, and above expected holiday sales data from the Kinect. As a result of the strong Kinect sales the firm is raising their FY11-13 EPS estimates to $2.45, $2.68 and $2.96, from $2.42, $2.67 and $2.95.
The firm reports that the Windows 8 announcement is a much-needed step in the right direction in a tablet world. They also state that the latest departure in the company by Bob Muglia, President of the Server & Tools division, following the departures of Ray Ozzie, Stephen Elop, and Robbie Bach in recent months, hints to the firm that Azure traction may be less than expected.
You can see that their tech analyst has no idea what the heck he was talking about regarding the Windows 8 announcement.
A much needed step? They didnt show ANY part of the UI for Windows 8.
Simply because they announced they would design a version for ARM, that’s enough to indicate good news?
The rest of the analysis is fair but I think that there isn’t enough data one way or another to indicate that Microsoft is moving in the right direction re: Windows 8.
Why did you want that they showed an U.I which was certainly not ready to be shown ?
And i will never understand this obsession with slates.
It is not because this form factor is supposedly popular thanks to the buzz generated by the iPad that Microsoft should rush to deliver a solution for this market which is still in its infancy.
The netbooks have been quite popular for quite some time and are still popular.
Yet did you see Apple rush to offer a solution for this market ?
Moreover Microsoft did not rush to this market either but has finally dominated this market.
So i don’t think that Microsoft need to rush to this market just because Apple is selling millions of iPad.
When they will be selling several dozens of millions per year,if it ever happens, then perhaps Microsoft will need to worry.
However i don’t think that it will happen even in 2012.
I think that even after the release of Windows 8, this market will still be in its infancy.
BTW, i do not think that slates represent the only or even the main reason why Microsoft will port to the ARM architecture.
Moreover you fail to be impressed by the announcement of Microsoft at CES because you don’t see some of its interesting implications.
To have Windows running fluently on the ARM CPU, which are clearly less powerful than x86 CPU, Microsoft will need to make it quite efficient and optimized. Thus if Windows can run fluently on ARM CPU then it will be lightning fast on x86.
Another interesting implication is that Microsoft will need to remove a significant source of bloat from Windows and make it optional.
This bloat source a.k.a backward compatibility could be handled through virtualization for x86 CPU and completely removed for ARM.
I don’t think that the version of Windows which has been shown running on the ARM S.O.S had all these optimizations.
Yet it was running fluently. Thus one can except Windows 8 to be tailored for slates and other mobile devices with the right shell.
And has said in another post the capability to run on ARM could be very useful for Windows 8 Server to address the market of ARM based server.
In fact i fully confident that Steven Sinofsky and Julia Larson Green are able to make of “Windows Everywhere” concept a reality..
I like Steven Sinofsky myself and I hope that he can execute and justify the confidence we have in him.
Regarding slates, that department is closed. The ipad is the king of slates and I suspect that Ipad 2 will cement that title with the front and rear facing camera…
I don’t think that the department of slates is closed for either Android or Windows.
Unless the market for slates slow down and reach a peak quite soon.
As i said slates, and even smartphones, are still in their infancy.
The iPad represents only a category of slates and is very far to be the best which can be achieved with such devices.
The iPad is quite a limited device which has such as success because it is an Apple device. If another company had come with exactly the same product and the same ecosystem, the product would have been a relative failure.
And knowing Apple, i don’t think that the iPad2 will be that much better than the current iPad.
I personally think that slates still have a quite significant evolution path ahead and i don’t think that Apple will be the one to really push innovation in this market. I personnaly do not find the iPad that innovative. It is more or less a variation of the iPod Touch concept which has been helped a lot by the buzz and the free marketing from media which really need to become more objective.
I think that there are several significant possibilities which are still not fully exploited by other companies starting with Microsoft and it so called partners.
For one, there are the Tablet PC devices which have been not appealing because of some annoying flaws that Microsoft and co were too slow to fix.
Though i expect that Windows 8 could significantly boost this market by providing 2 different optimized operating modes (slate mode and PC mode) with the same O.S. If handled correctly, these devices could seriously cannibalized the laptop market or more likely laptops could evolve in such devices.
For second, there are the smaller Tablet with size screen going from 5″ to 7″. This category has been quite under exploited. I think that Android has the potential to do quite well on this market. I think that Windows 8 running on ARM could also adress this market.
For third,there are what i call non mobile slates which would be PC with multitouch orientable screen with a very dynamic and contextual U.I which will offer a whole new sets of possibilites to the users. These devices could be the natural evolution of Surface devices.
So no, i do not think that the slates department is closed and it would be a technological and innovation drama if the iPad stay the king of this market in 2 years from now.
One significant problem, Microsoft has is that it relies too much on its partners. I think it must in some case co-develop state of art products with some key partners even it is at the expense of other partners seeking to develop products using the same technologies. This way if their partners fail to release appealing products then there would be at least one great product promoting their technologies in each of the targeted market.
For example Microsoft should have co-developed a state of the art WP7 smartphone with either Samsung or HTC and promote this device as the WP7 flagship if other devices can’t compete efficiently with it.