Why Is Microsoft Married To 16:9?

Windows 8 on a Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 (via Splashtop):

Win8Samsung
Photo by Steven Troughton-Smith

Microsoft Plans 7-Inch Tablet

I’m not a fan of 16:9. People who watch a lot of video love it for widescreen without black bars. But those people drive people like me — who like to read — up the wall.

Here’s the big difference reading a magazine on a 16:9 screen versus a 4:3 screen, with a Nexus 7 versus an iPad Mini:

IMvN7001

IMvN7003

Most of the new tablets coming out of China are now 7.9-8″ screen sizes, virtually clones of the iPad Mini. Tablets with 7″ screens are on the decline. So why is Microsoft planning something the market has largely rejected?

If it’s because Microsoft has seen the success of the Nexus 7, that’s just silly. The Nexus 7 has sold because it was reasonably priced, good hardware, Play Certified, and pure Android (unmolested by any UI skin). It was an aberration in the small tablet market, not a sign that’s what people suddenly wanted. Out of the four selling points the Nexus 7 has, Barnes & Noble’s 7″ Nook tablets have two of them — reasonable price and good hardware — yet Nook sales have tanked.

Here’s a composite photo of a current Microsoft Surface next to a Nexus 7 (adapted from this photo):

SurfaceVNexus7

Errrrmmmm… no.

And what What will Microsoft do if the rumor about a second-generation 7.7″ Nexus 7 is true?

I’ll tell you what: They’ll sit there with another piece of hardware the market doesn’t want, embarrassing themselves yet again.

Same-day update: A Commenter correctly pointed out that it’s an iPad in that composite photo, not a Surface. Too little caffeine in the morning made that sky blue cover seem like a Type Cover to me. I should have looked more closely! My stupid error.

On the other hand, Amazon just lopped $20 off the price of the Kindle Fire HD with 32GBs. Does that sound like it’s a success to you? Another 7″ tablet not succeeding is what it sounds like to me.

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2 Comments

Filed under Windows Tablets

2 responses to “Why Is Microsoft Married To 16:9?

  1. peter

    iPad od first photo, not Surface…

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