Microsoft Exec Dismisses Tablet Computers

Dennis Faas's picture

In three days after its launch, Apple sold 500,000 units of its iPad 2 tablet computer. To most people, that number would seem impressive. But Microsoft's Craig Mundie is not most people.

In a recent interview with Australia's Sydney Morning Herald, Microsoft global chief research and strategy officer Craig Mundie had this to say about what appears to be a rapidly emerging tablet market:

"I don't know whether the big screen tablet pad category is going to remain with us or not... Personally I don't know whether that space will be a persistent one or not." (Source:

Tablet Computers are Just a Fad

Mundie stopped short of using the actual term "fad", but there's no escaping his overall impression of the tablet, or slate computer: it may not be a long-term mainstay in the tech market.

Mundie's position would make him quite the exception in this industry. After all, just about everyone -- including Research in Motion (RIM), Dell, and Motorola -- are releasing their own versions of the iPad right now. And why not? If any one of those firms can accumulate even a fraction of the 42 million iPads projected to sell between the item's original launch and the end of 2011, then they will have achieved considerable success.

Many experts stunned by the Mundie comments have pointed out Microsoft founder Bill Gates' own proclamation ten years ago that tablets are "virtually without limits" in terms of their potential growth and capabilities.

No Room Between Smartphones and Laptops

So, what does Mundie think is a better product than the tablet? Simply put, Mundie believes either smartphones or laptops will fair better. The Microsoft exec just doesn't think there's much room between these two well-established tech items to put a tablet PC at a better advantage. (Source:

Beyond that, Mundie had some rather abstract and ambiguous tech predictions for us, telling the Herald: "I believe the successor to the desktop is the room, that instead of thinking that the computer is just something on the desk that you go and sit in front of [in the] future, basically the whole room is the computer and you go in it."

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