Microsoft Unleashes PowerPoint Presentation to Combat iPad

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To meet the challenge posed by Apple’s iPad in Enterprise, Microsoft is unleashing its most powerful weapon in the company’s vast corporate arsenal: The dreaded PowerPoint presentation. The company has put together a slideshow presentation for its partners in the Enterprise space that lays out its strategy for beating Apple’s tablet device in Microsoft’s corporate game.

Apple’s iPad has found surprising traction in the corporate space, with 80% of the Fortune 100 working with the device for internal use in one way or another. Considering Apple’s traditional lack of success in the Enterprise space, the iPad’s success has been surprising to many.

Microsoft, arguably one of the most successful Enterprise companies in the history of modern business, isn’t taking that affront lying down, even though the company hasn’t yet released a true iPad competitor. While Big Redmond started the tablet category a decade ago, Windows tablet devices are still operating on the stylus-input method that the market never truly embraced.

All of which means that the company has to try and slow the iPad down in Enterprise by reframing corporate opinions around the capabilities and features of existing Windows tablet devices, and that’s where this slideshow comes in.

ZDNet published 10 slides from the presentation, including the two below, that show how Microsoft is looking to reshape the tablet landscape in business. In the elegant and beautiful slide below, for instance, Microsoft reveals what it has found regarding customer opinion of the iPad.

It's easy to use and lasts forever, but it's hard for IT to lock it down

It’s easy to use and lasts forever, but it’s hard for IT to lock it down

The short version is that the iPad is a content consumption device, not a device adept at content creation (note the good qualities the company has identified, too). Microsoft also believes the lack of IT management and control features inherent in the iPad are soft spot for it to attack.

How to address these issues? Let’s try another equally elegant slide that positions Windows 7 tablets as being good for both content creation and consumption, in part because of the multitude of input methods one can use on such devices.

Microsoft, changing the world one PowerPoint slide at a time

Microsoft, changing the world one PowerPoint slide at a time

You can see all 10 slides on ZDNet’s site.

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Comments

RonMacGuy

Wow, that is scary stuff. I better sell my Apple stock now!!

LOL

mhikl

To quote Brian: The dreaded PowerPoint presentation.

What a hoot. Soooo true.

AND THE FULL CAPS UNDERLINES THE FACT.

I use PPPs for washroom breaks, phone calls, moments to scratch an itch; anything to end the pain.

ibuck

“the stylus-input method that the market never truly embraced.”

Having purchased a Windows tablet a few years ago to explore enterprise use, it wasn’t the stylus that was the problem as much as the weight and the klunky, unreliable interface. Small, lightweight PDAs with a stylus were quite popular for a time. But now buyers seem to have embraced touch interface and tiny keyboards, either onscreen or incorporated into the portable device. Might there still be a use for styli in future portables? Ask artists (and probably others).

Constable Odo

These guys are real pricks.  Spread the FUD.  Microsoft can’t stand it if it doesn’t have 100% of the corporate market space.  Microsoft tried for ten years to get the Windows Slate into the corporate lifestyle, but failed.  Apple comes out with a killer product that businesses want to use, so Microsoft says they’ve got a better tablet solution coming.  Where?  The next soon-to-be-announced Windows Slate complete with stylus and Steve Ballmer’s approval.

Employees want to use the iPad because they’re comfortable with it due to its simplicity.  Microsoft thinks that those same employees want Windows 7 on their tablets.  They’re absolutely nuts.  Microsoft will try to keep pushing that pig-slop Windows desktop OS on tablets until the end of time and will fail each time.

Lee Dronick

“Microsoft also believes the lack of IT management and control features inherent in the iPad are soft spot for it to attack.”

Apple just hired David Rice as Security Boss

The next version of the iPad will probably answer MicroSofts bullet points and fire a few counter battery rounds of its own. Chairs will be thrown in Redmond.

Mikuro

It looks like Microsoft’s two best friends, inertia and lock-in, can’t help them in new markets like phones and tablets. For years (decades, even), Microsoft has held its grip on the market because every time a company had an upgrade cycle, the pain and uncertainty of conversion outweighed the benefits, and Windows was the “easy choice”. This isn’t so much of a factor anymore. If Microsoft wants to win these new battles, they will have to compete more on even terms than they’ve ever needed to in the past.

MAinTN

Microsoft’s strategy looks kinda putrid, but for anyone cognizant of computers in the early 90’s so did windows 3.x,  and I’m still trying to figure how they pulled that one off.

wab95

Apple releases a fully functional tablet, MS releases a power point presentation in riposte. The irony.

Far be it from me to suggest which of these two offerings will most impress the Street and make continued inroads into the enterprise, but a couple of thoughts, having looked at the slides.

1) The strategy for iPad displacement appears to be, ‘Tell us what you want, and we’ll give it to you’. This means developing an OS robust enough to accommodate different hardware configurations and offerings, or an OS/hardware marriage that can be all things to all people. Either is easier said than done, if one still hopes to compete on Apple’s home turf of ‘ease of use’ (which MS has recently claimed for its user experience) and consistency of user experience; all this, and it has to fit into a tablet and have competitive battery life and - did we mention price? The former approach is an engineering challenge, put mildly, the second a potential threat to creating an integrated ecosystem and consistent user experience, and both are a threat to having a device on the market in near term that will see uptake.

2) The strategy appears to address potential soft targets on the iPad (“We will give enterprise what it wants, unlike what the iPad offers”), while emphasising that all these things can be found on Win7. In other words, MS is engaging in a social engineering endeavour of mammoth proportions, seeking to convince enterprise that everything it desires can be found on something for which it has shown little enthusiasm in the tablet form factor. This is rather like social hypnosis; “Keep repeating until the subjects comply”.

3) All the comparisons between MS’s offerings to enterprise (which are very non-specific) and Apple’s are made against version 1.0 of the iPad, a device that was never even designed for the enterprise. As Sir Harry avers above, Apple is not sitting still on issues like security and the like, and this strategy may need substantial revision if it requires the iPad as a foil. iPad 2.0 could leave Redmond red-faced, and outclassed.

I am reminded of a quote from Bruce Lee in ‘Enter the Dragon’ when one of Hahn’s goons (who in real life was a student of Lee’s) tries to intimidate Lee before their match by smashing a wooden board. Lee responds, ‘Boards…don’t hit back’. Crushing Apple (or anyone) by powerpoint is child’s play; the real fight before MS is going to be against a very nimble, formidable opponent in the real world of the enterprise. These slides do not suggest that they are anywhere near prepared. Perhaps they will surprise us with Win8.

nealg

MSFT does not have a strong offering to compete. What MSFT is trying to do is get companies to delay buying into the iPad and iOs platform and get them to wait for the next best MSFT offering. The problem for MSFT is that the companies have the money to spend now on these devices and the iOs platform is already being used in enterprise fairly successfully and is familiar to many people in organizations. This will be a harder road for MSFT to hoe to get back into the game here. MSFT will also have to compete with Android and RIMM as well in this market so it is up against more than just Apple/iOs.

Can’t blame them for trying anything they can do to slow down iOs acceptance but this does seem pretty lame to me.

Neal

Lee Dronick

[quote author=“nealg” date=“1295943845"M]SFT does not have a strong offering to compete. What MSFT is trying to do is get companies to delay buying into the iPad and iOs platform and get them to wait for the next best MSFT offering.

I think that is one of the reasons that Apple doesn’t announce vaporware products. “Oh, we are working one of those, our’s will be better.”

mrmwebmax

+

Wow. That’s actually embarrassing. If you look at all ten slides, you’ll see just how differently Microsoft and Apple think, if you compare their PPT slides to a Steve Jobs Stevenote Keynote presentation. Microsoft’s slides are practically all text. Why even bother with PowerPoint when you could have just typed up a Word document? It is so text-dense that it reads more like notes to a presentation rather than the presentation itself.

Steve, on the other hand, has slides at keynotes with a few bullet points, rich graphics, and that’s it. That’s all he needs to get his points across and convince a gazillion people to go out and buy stuff NOW.

Of course, as has been mentioned here, it helps that when Steve introduces a product, he either says when it will ship, or its being stocked on shelves while he’s presenting.

Microsoft has nothing but smoke and mirrors at this point. My guess is that they’ll have little else in tablets anytime soon.

Terrin

MIcrosoft sees the potential writing on the wall. Apple has a very clever sneak attack going on. iOS and OSX are slowly converging. At some point, they will be the same thing. Right now Apple is gaining major traction for IOS in terms of phones, and now the iPad. Eventually Macs will likely run iOS as well. Large companies will start to feel more comfortable with Apple’s products and start buying more Apple products like computers because of the easy of integration and familiarity.

Microsoft has lost its advantage with iOS. Apple has more applications then Microsoft in this arena (which used to be touted as a Microsoft advantage); Apple has now proven it will likely be around for a while (also something people used to use as a reason to put off buying Apple products); and the cost of Apple products in terms of comparable products is in many cases less (another reason people would claim Microsoft products were better); and Apple has actually proven it provides more value for the dollar. I am still using seven year old Macs.

wab95

Microsoft Unleashes PowerPoint Presentation to Combat iPad


Bryan, I just have to note this title. It conjures visions of Ballmer, facing his enemy across the battle field, like Russell Crowe in Gladiator, only instead of issuing the Crowe-esque command, ‘Unleash hell’, Ballmer intones, ‘Unleash…the power point presentation’.

Probably less inspiring than what the troops were waiting for.

Mikuro

Wow. That?s actually embarrassing. If you look at all ten slides, you?ll see just how differently Microsoft and Apple think, if you compare their PPT slides to a Steve Jobs Stevenote Keynote presentation. Microsoft?s slides are practically all text. Why even bother with PowerPoint when you could have just typed up a Word document? It is so text-dense that it reads more like notes to a presentation rather than the presentation itself.

Steve, on the other hand, has slides at keynotes with a few bullet points, rich graphics, and that?s it. That?s all he needs to get his points across and convince a gazillion people to go out and buy stuff NOW.

I, for one, was very impressed by Microsoft’s use of symbols and metaphor. Like the way they used the words “RAPIDLY CHANGING TECHNOLOGY” to evoke the image of technology changing rapidly.

wab95

One more thought, while all of you in the Western Hemisphere should be asleep.

Can?t blame them for trying anything they can do to slow down iOs acceptance

Agree with nealg on this, cannot blame MS for trying. What irks is the hubris with which they do it.

Note, MS (Ballmer) has steadfastly refused to refer to iPad-like devices as tablets, but rather as ‘slates’. In the slideshow they go further and refer to these as ‘slate PCs’. Not only do they want to determine their feature-set (fair enough in a competitive market, but at least offer something tangible), but what they should be called.

The consensus term is tablets; MS wants that changed to ‘slates’. I suspect that this is more than semantics but marketing strategy, and an attempt to remind the everyone that they (MS) deployed tablets years ago (we won’t discuss sales here), and reassert their presence. But this is also a powerplay not lacking in arrogance, and a reflection that, at least in public, MS does not appear to recognise that they are central to this market, and in no way do they define it.

Referring to them as ‘slate PCs’ however is double-edged sword for MS, because if these come to be regarded as PCs in other form, Apple is immediately catapulted to the spot of No 2 PC vendor worldwide, and as Terrin notes, the whole argument of Apple’s minor market share, either generally or in the enterprise specifically, is lost, and so too may be MS’s overwhelming leverage.

A616

Isn’t it a bit spurious to include the iPad under devices that Windows will run on? Yes kind of virtually or with a hacked device, but the iPad doesn’t really run on Windows in the proper sense.

dmuzzy

I, for one, was very impressed by Microsoft?s use of symbols and metaphor. Like the way they used the words ?RAPIDLY CHANGING TECHNOLOGY? to evoke the image of technology changing rapidly.

Brilliant

smile

CityGuide

As long as Microsoft continues to make the iPad the target of its goals and Windows the linchpin of its efforts, it will continue to struggle against the marketplace.

furbies

<quote>You can see all 10 slides on ZDNet?s site.</quote>

Has anyone else read the comments on the ZDNet page ?

zewazir

I wonder if M$ is fearing a new halo effect, aimed at industry instead of home consumers?

mhikl

Where else can one go for such succinct, clever comments when M$ opens its cavernous mouth but the MO. Shall savour these inputs leisurely with a cool pint and a reek after supper. Envy from a wailing anachronism is pitiful, but plenty fun to pick on. I’ll break open the Drambuie if Bosco chimes in.

Bryan Chaffin

As long as Microsoft continues to make the iPad the target of its goals and Windows the linchpin of its efforts, it will continue to struggle against the marketplace.

That’s a very salient observation, CG.

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