Nexus 7 and Surface: A bonanza for landfill miners
The fish aren't going to get on the bicycles
Comment It would be charitable (that is, untrue) to call the consumer electronics strategies of Microsoft and Google coherent today. But what they lack in coherence they make up for in er, … sheer recklessness. That's OK, then.
Both stalwarts are now in head-on competition with their customers, having launched their own-brand tablets, rather than the software for other people to make tablets. They're also diving into retail in the chase after Apple, a hugely expensive move that usually ends in tears. Amazingly, Google is actually competing with itself, as Google's new $12bn Motorola devices division wasn't involved in designing its new Nexus 7 tablet.
And if Google's own employees at Moto think they've had a kick in the teeth, imagine waking up as a Samsung planner today. You've bet big on Android and helped it become a huge platform - and Google rewards you with with a tablet that it sells at cost price. Readers with long memories will recall how American semiconductor companies called foul when Asian manufacturers dumped silicon at cost price onto the American market in the 1980s. Now America's biggest companies are dumping tablets onto the world.
There's certainly a lot of thought and care gone into Google's new seven incher: it has the power of a laptop, NFC, and with a 1280x800 display and quad-core chip, it has a lot of computing resources. But to do what, exactly? Every iPad-rival I've used has also had a lot of thought and care in it: Sony's, Samsung's, HP's Palm one (remember that?) and even RIM's PlayBook. And each time, after 20 minutes, I've put it back in the box confident I'll never want to touch it again. Pricing issues seem irrelevant if they can't persuade me to use one for free.
Without stuff to do, Tablets remain as the forgotten niche of computing - the Kindle and the iPad being the exception because of their close relationships with the content production sectors. And without content, neither Microsoft nor Google have much of a story. Google is relying on the increasingly bare public internet for "stuff", of which nothing is exclusive to Google. Microsoft has Xbox games. But neither YouTube nor Xbox access make a tablet indispensable. And "access to stuff" is simpler and easier on a Kindle or iPad than on either Surface or the Nexus 7.
Of the two losers, Microsoft's Surface looks a slightly cannier bet, because it's really a laptop - and you can still use it as a laptop replacement. Is there something I'm missing here?
I don't think so. Unless something changes, everything points to a boom in the landfill business, and those canny companies that recycle precious metals essential to sophisticated modern gadgets.
Paging Mr Worstall ... ®
Apple employee alert
And why exactly is 'access to stuff' easier on an iPad? There is nothing, NOTHING, an iPad does that can't be done just as easy or as enjoyable on a decent android tab (I'm sure that applies to a win 8 tablet too but I haven't tried one yet)
I'm sick of the fanaticism and devotion that the media put on Cupertino's products. Yes, they're decent enough, but so are countless other devices. Show some balance please.
"Is there something I'm missing here?"
" Is there something I'm missing here?"
Comparing the surface and the nexus is ridiculous, one is a sub-£200 budget tablet which is clearly targeting the market of people who don't want to pay the apple premium (and this market does exist, as evinced by solid Kindle Fire sales in the US). The surface on the other hand is going to be 'utrabook prices' ie £1000 and up.
A lot of the articles in El Reg, especially in the hardware section, seem to assume infinite budgets when comparing products. In reality however, many people don't have money for an iPad but might be able to stretch to £160 for a nexus, and might be persuaded to buy a big name brand (asus/google) where they wouldn't want to risk a cheap and cheerful 'no name' chinese jobbie.
"the Kindle and the iPad being the exception because of their close relationships with the content production sectors. And without content, neither Microsoft nor Google have much of a story. Google is relying on the increasingly bare public internet for "stuff", of which nothing is exclusive to Google. "
You seem to be missing the Google Play store, which now sells books, TV shows, Movies, Magazines, etc (just like Amazon and Apple). You can also use the kindle app (amongst others) on an Android tablet to view Kindle purchases.
IMHO the main thing that's missing from Android tablets is apps... and Google releasing a cheap but good (as opposed to the many cheap and rubbish Android tablets on the market) will kick start tablet app developers, and make people wonder why they're paying triple the money for an Apple Ipad that essentially doesn't do much more than the Nexus 7.