Microsoft's iPad Over-Haul Plan Discovered
A PowerPoint presentation revealing how Microsoft hopes to convert iPad users to Windows-based tablets has been leaked on the internet.
The ten-slide presentation, obtained by ZDNet.com, is designed to help Microsoft's partners convince business customers to consider Windows 7-based tablets.
Microsoft, not surprisingly, claims Windows tablets hold many advantages over the iPad. These include support for a wide range of form factors, full compatibility with enterprise applications and the ability to use apps offline.
The presentation includes a three-page table highlighting the advantages of Windows over iOS.
Perhaps most alarmingly, Microsoft considers the Windows user interface as one of its chief selling points, claiming that the "UI is familiar for most end users".
The fact that the Windows 7 interface was designed primarily for keyboard and mouse rather than touch input has been one of the chief criticisms of Windows 7 tablets, although Microsoft does concede that the iPad is "optimised for touch-enabled applications".
Other Windows tablet strengths highlighted by Microsoft include a searchable file system, full support for Microsoft Exchange and Office, and enterprise-friendly features such as remote device management. Full support for Flash and Silverlight is also emphasised in the slides.
The leaked presentation also reveals what Microsoft's customers are telling the company about the iPad.
The Apple tablet's "form factor, intuitive interface [and] long battery life are driving commercial appeal," the slides reveal. They also claim that end-user interest is driving adoption in businesses.
For business customers that are already wedded to the iPad, Microsoft tells its partners to suggest piloting "the devices that are right for your users - one size does not fit all". It also recommends potential customers "engage with OEMs to learn their roadmaps of Windows-based slate PCs".
Ironically, it's Microsoft itself that is being cagey about its future plans for Windows tablets. Although the company revealed earlier this month that the next version of Windows would run on ARM processors, little or nothing is known about "Windows 8" and whether it will be specifically optimised for touch.
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