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Bill Gates Helped Kill Microsoft's "Tablet for Creative

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Bill Gates Helped Kill Microsoft's "Tablet for Creative
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Joined: 17 Oct 2011
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Bill Gates Helped Kill Microsoft's "Tablet for Creative
Eighteen months post-mortem, the inside story of how Microsoft missed the tablet market has come to light.

And, as expected, it paints a picture of a company that is so big it can’t figure out what to do and tends toward doing nothing. Or at least to delay when it should be acting.

It is also the story of a company that is such a slave to its old inventions — Windows and Office — that it can’t move forward. That makes it a cautionary tale for companies like Apple, which may someday need to reinvent themselves, too.

Our friends at CNET are running a wonderful two-parter “The Inside Story of How Microsoft Killed Its Courier Tablet.” Please read it if you care about Microsoft and tablets or just enjoy a good train wreck.

While some blogs will steal all the good parts of Jay Greene’s story, I’d rather you read his version — he deserves the clicks, after all. I’ll offer some comments and perspective.

The setup is that in early 2010, Microsoft had two teams working on tablet computers. One was out of the Xbox part of the company and the other from the Windows folks. Ultimately, the Windows team won and the Xbox developers’ concept, a dual-screen tablet called “ Courier” was killed, though I suspect some parts will eventually show up.

As a result, Microsoft still has no competitive tablet offering — that now waits for Windows 8 next year — and the iPad has captured the market unmolested by Microsoft. Courier, most likely would have been out by already. (There is a Courier demo video at the end of this post.)

I take you now to Bill Gates office and Greene’s description of Gates’ meeting with members of the Courier team. Gates was one of the people CEO Steve Ballmer had asked to look at Courier and offer advice before Ballmer decided what to do.
Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:01 pm View user's profile Send private message
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