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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review July 16, 2010 / 5 Menachem-Av, 5770

Steve Ballmer's slate dreams

By Mark Kellner



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Steve Ballmer, Microsoft Corp.'s CEO, is one of the brightest people I've ever encountered in computing. His comments Monday (July 12) at the D.C. Convention Center certainly garnered attention: Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system, Mr. Ballmer declared, will soon power a line of devices that will compete with Apple, Inc.'s iPad.

Though not using the i-word, his intent is clear from what he said: "Windows 7-based slates, they'll come with keyboards, they'll come without keyboards. They'll be dockable. There will be many form factors, many price points, many sizes. But they will run Windows 7. They will run Windows 7 applications. They will run [Microsoft] Office. They will … be very good for the kinds of scenarios that all of us are going to see for knowledge workers … that want to have something that works super well at work, but also supports their kind of personal interests…."

Except for the "run Office" part, isn't all that more or less what folks get from Apple's i-you-know-what?

Mr. Ballmer's words are not to be taken lightly: I have no doubt that Microsoft and its partners - Asus, Dell, Samsung, Sony and Toshiba were names he mentioned - will soon offer these devices, and probably at attractive prices. The iPad starts at $499 and bulks up to $829. Within those price points, there's a fair amount of room for Microsoft's hardware partners to work.

The question, of course, is what these hardware makers will deliver. Let's say it's a slate with a 9-inch or 10-inch (diagonal) touch screen. So far, so good. What's the battery life? What kind of Intel processor will it use? Wi-fi is a given, and so would be Bluetooth. How about 3G wireless communications? And what other connections will it have? One USB port, or three? Will there be a slot for a SecureDigital card?

Mr. Ballmer and his colleagues, presumably, have these answers figured out. But how far can the "slate" go without bumping into the very popular netbook platform which Microsoft quickly glommed on to a couple of years back? Will the $399 tablet or the $399 netbook represent a better value, and can anyone be persuaded to buy both? Oh, and what will then happen to the $499 desktop PC?

Coming up with a super-successful computing platform isn't easy: that's obvious. What's less obvious, and more like alchemy, is coming up with a product users will want to snatch up in droves. That is a rarity, and a great challenge as Microsoft, even without saying it, steps up against Apple's iPad, which in its first 80 days sold a mind-bending 3 million units at retail.

One of the key elements that has made the iPad such a success is, of course, the two-year-old iTunes App Store, which has made the creation and marketing of applications, or apps, for the iPad such a delight. Yes, Apple gets a nice bite out of sales of each application, but users get stuff Apple has reviewed and approved, an easy way to buy new programs, and everything is designed to a certain level of standards - at least in theory.

How this will shake out for Microsoft is anyone's guess. The firm's previous attempts to puree Apple's app prowess have been, shall we say, less than fruitful. The Zune media player is a nice idea, but you probably couldn't find a Zune user on Metro if you tried. That "Kin" Windows-based phone with social networking features? Scrapped after way less than 60 days on the market. Ouch.

It'll probably come down to what Microsoft's software developer community creates, something Mr. Ballmer tacitly acknowledged: "If we don't build good stuff, you can't drive it. And if you don't drive it, we can't have great success and keep the wheel spinning."

As they used to say on a certain 1960s TV show: tune in next week, same Bat-time, same Bat-station.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Mark Kellner has reported on technology for industry newspapers and magazines since 1983, and has been the computer columnist for The Washington Times since 1991.Comment by clicking here.

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