If Microsoft takes the plunge, then it believes it can do a tablet better than others. So, what exactly does that mean?
All signs are pointing to a Microsoft tablet on Monday. Aimed squarely at Apple's iPad.
In discussions I had Friday with analysts, there was a common theme: If Microsoft does in fact make its own tablet, it's because of the iPad. That product is so dominant that so far competitors can hope for little more than market-share scraps.
Apple's success is due in no small part to its tight control over hardware-software and the well-integrated, finely tuned product that results. That sort of success is hard, if not impossible, to duplicate in the Android camp -- composed of a loose collection of hardware vendors running fragmented software. (And note that one of the most tightly integrated Android tablets is also one of the most successful: Amazon's Kindle Fire.)
"It means Microsoft can control all of the variables and make a product that really works," said Endpoint Technologies analyst Roger Kay. "It's not a good thing for its hardware partners, but Microsoft may have made the calculation that it doesn't matter," Kay added, noting that Microsoft would have obviously made this decision a while ago.
That said, one way Microsoft can avoid excessively teeing off hardware partners -- like Hewlett-Packard and De... [Read more]