Microsoft’s chief technical officer and strategic leader Craig Mundie told an audience in Australia that he’s not sure if tablets are here to stay.It’s another example of Microsoft leadership’s blind spot (or perhaps willful denial) about the fastest growing new category in personal computing, which is starting to eat into the long-held Windows monopoly.
Microsoft is working hard on making Windows 8, the next version, have better support for tablets. But that operating system probably won’t be out until late 2012 at the earliest, giving Apple more than two years to build a head start. Not to mention the crop of tablets launching this year, including RIM’s PlayBook, HP’s TouchPad, and all the tablets based on Google’s Android. None of which run Windows.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Mundie is more bullish on smartphones, which he thinks will become the “most personal computer.”
He drew a distinction between mobile devices like smartphones — which are used when you’re literally in transit moving — and portable devices, like notebooks, which you have to stop and set down before you can work with them.
He called the iPad an “in between” device and said “Personally I don’t know whether I believe that space will be a persistent one or not.”
Later he elaborated that tablets “are not very good for creating things” and are mainly being used for consumption, not creation of content. “I don’t know whether consumption things will remain a category by themselves or not,” he added.
Apparently he missed Apple’s introduction of iMovie and Garage Band for the iPad 2 earlier this month.
Steve Jobs agrees with Mundie on one point — the iPad is not a PC. It’s part of the post-PC world. And so far, that world seems to be growing at the expense of the traditional PC market.
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