John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Microsoft Totally Going to Make Things Happen in Tablets

Microsoft–which foresaw the tablet PC, but failed to commercialize it–has a lot to prove in the market currently dominated by Apple’s (AAPL) iPad, and every intention of proving it. Bringing Windows-based slates to market “is job one urgency around here,” said CEO Steve Ballmer at the company’s Financial Analyst Meeting Thursday. “No one is asleep at the switch….We have got to make things happen. Just like we had to make things happen on netbooks, we have to make things happen on Windows 7 and slates.”

And just how does the company propose to “make things happen”?

Well, that’s not entirely clear, but make no mistake, things are definitely going to happen.

“We’re working with our hardware partners, we’re tuning Windows 7 to work on slates,” Ballmer explained. “We’ve got the user base, we’ve got the user familiarity. We’ve got everything on our side if we do things really right.”

Of course that’s often the case with Microsoft (MSFT). The problem is, it doesn’t always manage to do things really right. Certainly, it didn’t manage it with Windows Vista. Or Windows Mobile. Or Zune. Or, more recently, Kin. Who’s to say this time will be any different?

Not that it even matters if it is, as Jefferies analyst Katherine Egbert wrote in a note to clients this morning: “If you stop thinking of Microsoft as an innovator and start thinking of them as a fast, low cost, mass market follower, you’ll stop being disappointed in their inability to divine new markets and realize they are staring at some of their largest growth opportunities ever.”