Microsoft Chief Research and Strategy officer Craig Mundie thinks that tablet PC’s are only a short-term trend and that sooner or later they will disappear from the market. I’d agree, but with Apple’s revised iPad 2 sales numbers and the new Asus EEE Pad, the trend is, for the moment, at its peak.
A long time back (some time in the last decade actually), Bill Gates waxed eloquent on how everything will be touch and tablet and everything. The technology took a while to catch up and now here they are. So Microsoft, along with Apple, was partly responsible for predicting and working on the coming of the modern tablet device. Now however, Microsoft is saying that tablets are going to decline in to nothingness.
Only this time, it is the company’s Chief Research and Strategy officer Craig Mundie saying it. According to him, the tablet will be gradually pushed in to oblivion by the smartphone and the ultraportables of the market. Well, it is hard to tell at the moment what’s really going to happen but the current bullish attitude of developers everywhere towards tablets makes sure that it is not about to happen any time soon.
Mundie’s logic is that the tablet is a grey zone between two different main categories and it not very clearly defined. Hence, it is apparently going to receive friction from either ends of its category spectrum and being unable to justify its point of existence in that spectrum, will disappear. He expressed his skepticism over “whether that space will be a persistent one or not”.
There are already a multitude of Windows 7 tablets out there and the in the making. But Mundie’s attitude at the moment seems to reflect Microsoft’s overall attitude towards tablets. CEO Steve Ballmer has already done a U-turn on his word that they will bring out tablets.
However, the fact that Windows 8 will support ARM can be easily interpreted as a sign of Microsoft being interested in some sort of ultra-mobile computers. It is possible that they will encourage their partners to make the hardware and only supply the software for it, a la Android and Google. But so far, it is hard to write off the modern tablet after it has seen such a meteoric rise in just one year.