Microsoft Not Worried About Tablet Market

Microsoft investors are increasingly worried about Microsoft’s slow-motion response to the tablet market, one that appears to be eating into PC sales. But a Microsoft Executive says the company isn’t worried, according to Reuters on Friday.

Jean-Philippe Courtois, president of Microsoft International told Reuters, “Devices are going to go and come.” He said that his company is making progress in the tablet product area, and reiterated that a major Microsoft focus is cloud computing. “This is a deep transformation of the scenario in IT over the last decade,” he said.

Mr. Courtois’ remarks came a day after Microsoft stock fell amidst flat revenues and investor worries that Microsoft is mired in legacy desktop OSes and not meeting the challenge of mobile devices. J.P. Morgan, according to CNBC, noted that concerns about tablets “hang over Microsoft like a dark cloud.”

A raft of new tablets are set to hit the market soon, and none of those products are tied to Microsoft Windows. Hewlett Packard is expected to announce a WebOS-based tablet on February 9th, RIM is ramping up production of the QNX-OS-based PlayBook, and other tablets slated to ship are using the Android OS. The Samsung Galaxy Tab, an Android-based tablet, has sold 2 million units in just three months. Few analysts think that Microsoft’s Windows 7 or even Windows 8, scheduled for 2012, targeted at low power processors, is in the running.

Apple is expected to sell over 40 million iPads in 2011, and sales have already dramatically cut into netbook sales. By the end of 2011, the tablet market may just pass Microsoft by.

Steve Ballmer, who was expected to demonstrate something related to tablets at his CES keynote, declined and instead said that the company is focusing on Xbox, Windows Phone 7 and improvements to Windows 7. But tablets? Microsoft isn’t worried at all.

That has Paul Thurrott in a panic.