Microsoft's baffling Tablet PC strategy

Advertising Age has an baffling article about Microsoft’s upcoming Tablet PC. Either Microsoft doesn’t understand the Internet or the reporter doesn’t understand what they were being told. Both are probably true.

“‘With this device you have the opportunity for a whole new presentation of advertising– it’s a print ad, a direct response ad, a full-motion video, a broadband wireless ad” said Mark Stewart, executive vice president and director of strategy and channel planning at Interpublic Group of Cos.’ Universal McCann, New York. ”

But the company has held talks with Forbes, Dow Jones & Co.’s Wall Street Journal and Conde Nast’s New Yorker to make content from each of the publications available on the TabletPC.

The New Yorker will introduce a TabletPC prototype with content from the magazine at its annual festival in New York starting Sept. 27. “We see the use of technology to enhance the reading experience and wanted to get in on the ground floor,” said David Carey, vice president and publisher. “It’s a natural for us.”

(It’s probably significant that the first and most prominent quote is from the advertising agency in charge of the Tablet PC’s “multi-million dollar ad push.”)
So…either this thing uses proprietary protocols and formats (Microsoft doesn’t understand the Internet), or it doesn’t (but Microsoft convinced publishers and advertisers that it’s so different it needs purpose-built content), or the Tablet PC comes bundled with subsidized subscriptions to publications that are either subscription-only or unavailable online (where does that money come from in the long run?).