With its touch-optimized Metro UI, Windows 8 is clearly a different animal than past versions of Windows. This time around, Microsoft is getting truly serious about going after the tablet market, there is just one question on the minds of many- What makes Windows 8 any better than iOS or Android?
While it still remains to be seen exactly how well Windows 8 will do in the tablet market, I have thought of at least a few key points about why a consumer might want to go for Windows 8 versus an iPad or Android tablet.
Without further ado:
1. Windows 8 is more family oriented.
Okay, I’m not saying that the apps are more “kid friendly” per-say, it’s just that the age of sharing a desktop computer with multiple users is starting to shift away and more families are also sharing tablets for games and more. With Windows 8 you have access to multiple users, something that both iOS and Android don’t really support without the use of 3rd tools. Additionally, the new “Family Safety Feature” for Windows really gives you some pretty solid control over the viewing and usage abilities of your children.
2. Faster multitasking on Windows 8
Windows 8 is very fast and fluid, and although I admittedly have limited experience with the iPad line, I can say that Windows 8 offers a much better multitasking experience than Android 4.0 ICS seems to offer me. No double-tapping a button, everything just opens up easy, and I like it. I suspect that many other consumers will feel the same about that.
3. It’s WINDOWS.
For x86 tablets, this means full support for older accessories and drivers, full support for non-touch applications in desktop mode, and more. Why does this matter? It matters for enterprise and gaming users, who need access to many traditional applications.
Okay, so a ‘true gamer’ is probably going to go with a Core i7 super-custom desktop PC, but I truly see that gaming on the go will have appeal to some gamers. Sure, maybe your x86 tablet can’t play “World of Warcraft” at highest settings like your desktop, but when you need mobility in gaming, it can at least play in low or medium settings so you don’t miss a beat.
A Windows 8 tablet can also be easily hooked up to mouse and keyboard, or even an external monitor. Point number 3 here though is less relevant for the ARM/Windows RT crowd though.
4. Xbox Integration.
From the Xbox Live app to planned connectivity and launching features with the 360, it is clear that a unified ecosystem is in the works and I believe that Windows 8 will become more and more connected to the 360 and its future successor.
With Xbox 360 (and probably 720) targeting the living room with moves like $99/2-year contract sales, if a Windows tablet can be used for certain games, as a media remote, for instant streaming, etc… let’s just say that this alone can push Windows tablet sales.
5. The Enterprise.
No, I’m not talking about Captain Kirk, though I suppose he might have used Windows in that ship. Jokes aside, Windows 8′s ability to integrate into a business ecosystem, largely dominated by Windows, might have true impact on business.
The ability to set up different levels of user privilege and access on a Windows tablet also might be appealing for businesses. While I suspect that Windows 8/Intel will be the more supported business route, even Windows RT and ARM could have a real impact on the business world.
Alright, that’s just five points, though I suppose I could make more. Does Windows 8 and RT have some hurdles to overcome? Sure, they are a little late to the game and have less apps for one.
One thing that Microsoft has shown us recently with Windows Phone though, they can catch up pretty quickly in the app department, and this will be especially true if Metro apps do well in the desktop world– since there are so many desktop Windows developers out there.
So what do you think? Any other reasons why Windows 8 offers a truly unique and appealing experience that could potentially set it aside from the iPad and Android offerings? Share your thoughts below.