ManagementSpeak: But the implementation consultants don’t know our business like we do.

Translation: I’d rather have this project fail than have to keep my ego in check by following their successful project plan.

Fortunately, KJR‘s readers know the ManagementSpeak business better than I do. So keep ’em coming!

Bing has, according to comScore, plateaued.

Yes, comScore appears to have confused the number of searches with the number of searchers. Still, there’s no evidence suggesting Bing has much growth left, probably because there’s no evidence Bing does a better job than Google. While absence of evidence isn’t evidence of absence, without a good reason to switch most users will continue to use what they’re accustomed to using because why would they do anything else?

Speaking of Microsoft failing in the marketplace, any number of industry pundits have declared Apple to be the winner in the tablet marketplace, writing Microsoft off.

Any number of industry pundits are wrong. Not only isn’t the game over, it hasn’t even started.

Not that I have a lot of confidence in Steve Ballmer’s judgment in this area — he did, after all, kill the Courier, which would have been a game-changer, in favor of an it-must-be-Windows approach that pretty much guaranteed two or three years of sitting out the dance.

It’s just that the corporate tablet marketplace is wide open.

Back in 1999 I presented a formula for IT product success. It listed three determining factors: What the product will do for its customers; its affordability or lack of it; and how much disruption it causes.

A product that doesn’t do anything interesting isn’t going to get very far in the enterprise marketplace. Even if it does, if it’s expensive, few companies will risk spending a lot for something that’s unproven.

And please note: So-called “disruptive technologies” don’t succeed because they’re disruptive. They succeed if they can find a niche in which they aren’t disruptive. That’s where they mature. When they’re ready for the big time they then emerge to disrupt the older marketplace.

Marketplace, that is, not the IT architecture. Products succeed that integrate into the IT architecture, not that have no place in it.

The original Windows tablets failed at two out of three. They cost a lot more than equivalent laptops, and their poor touchscreen integration meant they didn’t do very much that was interesting. All they had going for them was their non-disruptiveness — not much of a sales pitch.

Will Windows 8 tablets be more interesting? They certainly could be. The iPad, as has been mentioned here numerous times, is designed for information consumers … for entertainment. Microsoft software is designed to support actual work.

Pricing? Here’s a place Microsoft fails repeatedly. If Windows tablets are to succeed, Microsoft will have to change its licensing so that MS Office in particular is attached to people rather than devices. If one license lets an employee use Office everywhere it will run, that keeps the cost where it needs to be.

But wait … it gets better. The iPad really can’t serve as a laptop replacement for most employees (if you disagree, look here), but a Windows tablet probably can. So instead of tablets being an additional expense, they suddenly become an economical alternative.

That leaves disruption, and there’s no doubt at all that Windows tablets will integrate far better than iOS and Android tablets. At least, there’s no doubt at all among those who have tried to move documents back and forth between any of the tablet office suites and MS Office.

But how about the dreaded “first-mover advantage” so beloved of industry pundits … the supposed insurmountable advantage that comes from being the first in a marketplace?

The answer is, what first-mover advantage? Here’s a challenge: Name a single product that currently dominates its category in IT that was the first to appear. I’m pretty sure there aren’t any, and in fact there aren’t all that many that continue to be credible contenders.

Heck, even many second-movers are either irrelevant or entirely gone … WordPerfect and Lotus 1-2-3 come to mind.

The near-complete lack of imagination on the part of Android tablet manufacturers probably does mean Apple will continue to dominate the consumer tablet marketplace. But the corporate marketplace? It is, at the moment, wide open.

Given MS Office’s status as the de facto standard file format and its extensive SharePoint integration, the game is Microsoft’s to lose. It “just” has to get the pricing right, and the technology right enough.

The view from here: Until Windows 8 tablets appear, master “bring your own tech.” It takes no CapEx budget, takes away any pressure to set a long-term direction, and encourages end-user innovation.

And, it keep your tablet options open — a good choice for a game that has yet to begin.