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Microsoft cautious on tablets


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Not sure if they will take off


Microsoft
doesn't seem to share the industry's optimism on tablet computing, despite the success of Apple's iPad.

Speaking at Computex, Microsoft VP for the OEM Division Steven Guggenheimer pointed out that it was still too early to say whether tablets will become a unique market segment. Guggenheimer reiterated Microsoft's position on non-Intel architectures, saying that the company would not offer new Windows versions for x86-less environments.

Guggenheimer stressed that the creation of an entirely new market segment is not an easy task. He pointed out that an entire industry supply chain and a supporting software environment are needed for new concepts to take off. Guggenheimer recalled the immense growth in the netbook market as an example. Once the initial fad gradually wore off, consumers lost quite a bit of interest and growth in the netbook segment has slumped over recent months.

Mind you, netbooks were and still are quite a bit easier to develop and market than tablets. Unlike tablets, netbooks use x86 chips such as Intel's Atom and they run trimmed down versions of existing desktop operating systems.

More here.
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