Before Apple’s stock price soared to even greater heights this week thanks to strong iPhone sales, growing services revenues, and rumors of spectacular devices to come, we got the bad news about iPad sales. During Apple’s quarterly sales call two weeks ago, we learned that sales were down 19% percent and revenue down 22% over last Q1, meaning not even the impressive iPad Pros have been able to overcome the forces of market saturation, slow upgrade cycles, and the encroachment of large screen smartphones.
Tim Cook keeps telling us that Apple remains committed to the platform, and to their credit, Apple has kept adding form factors and features to the lineup (and we hear more are on the way). However, the iPad’s glory days seem a distant memory, and it is now clearly a secondary device to the company’s true money maker- the iPhone.
I imagine most of you have seen the recent Microsoft TV ads for Windows tablets by now, as they’ve been getting some heavy airtime lately. The latest one, shown above, features a Siri-like voice that points out a number of supposed limitations of the iPad when compared to a Windows tablet. Those limitations include the lack of an official Powerpoint app on the iPad.
That’s pretty rich given that …
— There’s no iPad Powerpoint app only because Microsoft themselves have decided not to release MS Office on iOS, which likely means they’ve lost out on billions of dollars worth of app sales.
— There are a number of very capable replacement apps for Powerpoint on iPad, from Apple’s excellent Keynote app to Quick Office, Documents to Go, and others.
It’s also striking that in its two new ads attacking the iPad Microsoft has chosen to feature an Asus-made Windows tablet for its head-to-head (some would say apples to oranges) comparisons. They don’t use their own Surface tablets, which were originally hailed as the state-of-the-art in Windows tablets.It’s also interesting that the strapline for this ad is ‘Less talking, more doing’. Pretty bold stuff from the platform that has a tiny fraction of the available productivity apps actually designed for use on a tablet.
I don’t think these latest Microsoft ads are terrible by any means. They may well be effective with a lot of hardcore Windows fans and some corporate users who still believe the nonsense about the iPad being a consumption-only device. I can’t see them winning over many iPad or even Android users though, or any of us who have no need for MS Office apps.
What do you all think of these Microsoft ads? Have they swayed you towards a Windows tablet?
Even though Microsoft’s public stance, when asked about the impact of Apple’s slate is “iPad? What iPad?”, the Redmondians are preparing the company’s partners for battle in 2011.
That’s the opening line from Mary-Jo Foley’s article on how Microsoft plans to ‘market against the iPad’ at her All About Microsoft blog. Here’s the thing though – they’re not planning on ‘battling’ them by actually being on the field of battle in any meaningful way; instead they’ll be ‘doing battle’ by arming their partners with Powerpoint slide shows.
Microsoft is making available to its reseller partners marketing collateral to help them defend against the iPad’s encroachment into the enterprise market. I had a chance to check out a PowerPoint dated December 2010 on “Microsoft Commercial Slate PCs” that the company is offering to its partners to help them explain Microsoft’s slate strategy to business users.
At the big CES event last week there was lots of tablet and iPad rival talk from numerous vendors. One company we heard very little from though is Microsoft. Nearly all the tablets that got any press coverage at CES run (or will run when released) one version or other of the Android OS; with only very few that I heard of offering some sort of dual-boot scenario with Android and Windows 7.
And honestly, the whole idea of running Windows 7 on a tablet, or any mobile device, is just a loser right from the off in my book. My experience is that even on PCs there has been a great need for many years for a much more lightweight version of Windows – so why on earth would anyone think full-blown Windows is suitable for tablets?
Microsoft has revealed to T3 that it is looking at the possibily of releasing Office for Mac for the Apple iPad, although any official word is far from confirmed.
"Yeah, it’s something that we’re looking at," said Microsoft Senior Product manager Mike Tedesco. "Obviously the announcement (of the iPad) is really fresh and there’s nothing to announce or nothing that I can talk to you about today.
There’s been lots of good news and rumors this week about increasing business support for, and interest in, the iPad. One of the bigger headline items is this one about the prospect of MS Office coming to the iPad.
I’m sure this would be a big win for Apple, although personally I very rarely need any Office apps – as I get by just fine with Google Documents and other similar apps. If Office does come to the iPad, it will be fascinating to see how it is priced – given that Apple’s own iWork apps are going for just $9.99 each.
How big a deal would Office on the iPad be for you all?
Source: T3 via iPad in Canada