Could Microsoft Make an iPad Killer?

One of my workmates (a self-proclaimed ‘Apple-guy’) purchased his iPad on the first weekend it was offered for sale here in Canada. I asked him to bring it into work so I could take a closer look at it and see what all the fuss was about.

I must admit it definitely has a ‘cool factor’ to it, as most of Apple’s products do. It is small, light, hasĀ a great display and the few apps he had installed were impressive. He is a musician, so he had an app that represented a piano keyboard, and another that simulated a Hammond B3 organ. The sound was impressive, too for such a small, flat device.

I was interested in how the book reader function appeared, for I have been considering purchasing an iBook reader such as the Kindle. Now, I know from my research that the Kindle uses e-ink technology and shades of grey to make reading easier on the eyes, a feature the iPad lacks. In fact, from what I have read, the iPad is only good as a reader for short periods of time (due to the lack of e-ink technology) and its glossy screen. And reading outdoors? Not great with the iPad’s screen. However, the book reading iPad app (I forget which one he had installed) looked fine, and you could turn a page by swiping your finger across, much like a real book (but don’t lick your finger first!).

I don’t think the iPad is for me either because it lacks a USB port and/or a an SD memory slot, which would be most handy in transferring files from my PC. Perhaps the next generation of iPads (or another device) will have more features like these.

Interestingly, Deb Shinder at came out with an article entitled “Win7 on a Tablet – or Not? How Microsoft Could Make an iPad Killer” in which she makes several good points about how MS or another company could produce a device that has everything the iPad lacks, perhaps for a lower price too:

First, just as PCs outsell Macs by far in part because they cost less for the same specs, a Microsoft tablet should cost less than the iPad. The first time my son and I played with an iPad at the Apple store, his overall assessment was, “If it cost about $200-300, that would be a pretty neat little device.” The iPad can be useful for some work tasks, but it’s also very much a tech toy – and people don’t want to pay $500-800 for a toy. If Microsoft (on its own or through its partners) could come out with a slate that offered similar functionality for $250, I believe they would sell out fast.

Apparently MS is at work on a version of Windows 7 that will do just this as she acknowledges in an update to her original post:

Surprise! Between last week’s editorial and this week, Microsoft introduced something at Computex that puts a whole new light on the tablet issue. I asked for it and I got it: Windows Embedded Compact 7, a compact version of Windows 7 that is aimed directly at this market, and just might “take back that hill” from Apple. You can read more about it here:

And Microsoft’s official site for the new OS, along with videos, here:

Pretty exciting stuff, so you may want to shun being an early adopter and wait it out see what happens next on the PC side of things!

You can read Deb Shinder’s entire post here.