Microsoft cancels iPad competitor that never existed
April 30, 2010 by Beatweek
Microsoft has been pushing the idea of tablet computing for far longer than Apple, with the only difference being that Apple is pushing an actual tablet product in the iPad, while Microsoft has largely been pushing tablet products that only ever existed on paper. In a surprising fit of apparent honestly, however, Microsoft has admitted that at least one of its imaginary tablets won’t ever exist. The move comes as a surprise, as it’s not clear why the early success of Apple’s iPad would cause Microsoft to conclude that it would be be served by no longer pretending to be interested in pursuing the market itself.
This isn’t the first time that Microsoft has spent years promoting a new computing concept in theory, only to see Apple later take up the concept with an actual product in hand. In fact the gesture-based touchscreen technology in which the iPad’s interface is based on bears some resemblance to Microsoft’s “surface” technology, which was announced several years ago but to this day doesn’t exist in practice outside of a certain Las Vegas casino. Similarly, Microsoft’s “natal” technology appears to have advanced the idea of full body virtual gaming farther than Nintendo’s wii, and yet natal doesn’t exist outside the occasional demonstration on the Jimmy Fallon show.
While these products were obviously further along than Microsoft’s imaginary tablet computer, one has to wonder if today’s news represents a new leaf for the company, one which might see the company cancel all of its various vaporware products.