Does Microsoft have a Future in the Tablet Market?

When it comes to Microsoft’s decision to focus Windows 8 on both the desktop and tablet market you often hear many mixed opinions. There are some that say it’s an awful marketing decision and others that say it is brilliant. The tablet market has existed for a couple years now and is clearly dominated by Apple.

Is it too late for Microsoft to really make a difference in the tablet market? According to a recent Techland article about whether Windows 8 stands a chance, HP could certainly be a major player in whether or not Windows 8 succeeds in the tablet market.

It is no surprise for many of us that Web OS failed. It just didn’t have the backing and support of other tablet operating systems and wasn’t able to set itself apart in any meaningful way.

There has been a lot going on at HP recently such as the failure of its 1.2 billion dollar WebOS investment, the changing of hands to a new CEO, and the recent decision NOT to sell of its PC division. Considering HP is the best selling PC vendor it is probably a good idea they didn’t sell off their PC division, but what about tablets?

With the failure of WebOS HP is already looking hard into Windows 8 for its future tablet endeavors for a variety of reasons such as its close relationship with Microsoft and the fact that it had previously decided that Android was just not right for HP. HP isn’t going to make the Android switch now and this makes HP Microsoft’s greatest asset when it comes to Windows 8 on tablet computers.

Although other big manufacturers like Dell and Acer are likely to put Windows 8 on some tablets, they are also already involved in Android. Since HP will only be focusing on Windows 8 for its tablets/desktops this means they are more likely to throw all their weight and assets into making Windows 8 as a success on their tablets.

Microsoft has been working hard on getting partners interested in Windows 8 tablets and if HP puts considerable resources into the Win8 tablet scene it could be likely that other vendors will follow HP’s example.

It is my own opinion that Windows 8 tablets will provide the best option for the enterprise sectors, allowing seamless integration of Windows 8 on tablets and desktop machines. Compatibility and smooth integration are important to enterprise consumers.

HP gets a large part of its business from enterprise buyers and so a strong tablet partnership between Windows 8 and HP makes a lot of sense. Devices like the iPad and Android tablets have gained some support on the enterprise front but it can be argued that they are more tailored towards either small businesses or personal consumers than large network/office systems.

According to the Techland article, Nokia could also play a role in the Windows 8 tablet market since it is widely supporting Windows Phone OS and is finally starting to become somewhat relevant in the United States again.

For now it’s hard to make a call about whether or not Microsoft can really be a success in the tablet market or not.  A large part of its strategy is synergy between its consoles, phones, tablets, and desktops with developments in Windows 8 and Metro-like interfaces.

If Microsoft can get people to except Metro, Microsoft App Stores, and other parts of this key strategy than I think Windows 8 tablets certainly have a place in the market. What about you? Does Microsoft stand a chance at the tablet market? Will a strong partnership with companies like HP and Nokia help make the difference? Share your thoughts below!

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