Analysts Claiming Windows 8 Will Only Have 12% Of The Market By 2016, Is That Really A Fair Assessment?

Alright, so a new report has shown up claiming that Windows 8 tablets will remain a distant third in the tablet market, behind both the iPad and Android tablets.

Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi says that Microsoft will only get 4% of the tablet market this year.

I can honestly believe that, especially considering Windows 8 tablets won’t hit until this year is basically over. Considering they will likely not show up until 2 months before 2012 ends, that is actually quite GOOD.

That’s where the analyst ends the good news, claiming that even by 2016 only about 12% of the tablet market will run Windows 8.

This was all found on a pretty interesting article about how Windows 8 will fare, it also highlights that despite this bad news, the Enterprise world may really like Windows 8. I agree with this point, but I’m not going to focus on the rest of that article, though I do suggest you read it for yourself.

Instead, I want to talk a little about Windows 8. I understand how analysts work and that they are using known patterns and initial interest in Windows tablets as part of their basis and I don’t have anything against this analyst or how the conclusion was drawn, the analyst was just doing their job after all.

My only real question though is whether right now is the right time for truly analyzing the possible success or failure of Windows 8. It seems more like gypsy work considering just how different of an animal Windows 8 is.

One reason that it is such a different situation this time around is that I’d wager that the vast majority of non-techies out there have no clue what Windows 8 is.If you said, would you like a Windows 8 tablet in the future, they’d think of the current state of Windows thrown right on a tablet like with Windows 7.

Understandably only certain niches, like enterprise, find that of any use.

Now if you said, Windows 8 now looks and works more like Windows Phone, would interest change? Due to low market penetration of the WP platform, probably not.

The point is that Windows 8 isn’t anything consumers have dealt with before. It’s a little Windows 7 and a little Windows Phone. Not everyone is going to like its dual-nature, but I think the biggest thing is how Microsoft is going to market the device.

Until I see a clearer picture of Microsoft’s marketing campaign for its new tablets I am going to hold off directly making a guess as to how well they will do in the tablet market. Honestly though, the biggest worry MS has is probably the iPad. My wife loves her Android tablet, and I’m sure there are many others out there that feel the same, but honestly, Android isn’t THAT optimized for the tablet world. Sure, the OS is, but the apps?

Apple has done a very good job here, optimizing many apps specifically for its iPad. Windows 8 doesn’t exist on the smartphone, and though it shares similarities with Windows Phone, every app in its market will be built optimized for Windows 8. I can really see good marketing as a way to break Android tablet support and put Windows 8 in front of Google here.

As for the iPad? Again, up to Microsoft’s marketing strategy. If they can find a way to express WHY Windows 8 is better than iPad, and what it can do differently, it might have a chance against. Honestly though, MS probably doesn’t plan to dethrone the iPad, just provide a new path of grow for users that haven’t made their mind up on tablets.

I certainly fit into the group. Not sure if I care about tablets, but if anyone can make me want to consider one- it’s probably the folks at Redmond.

What do you think?

Please Leave Your Comments Below...

  • NazmusLabs

    First of all, I want to mention that there is an error in the title. It should be “2016”, not “2012”.

    I really like your points. I agree with you, and I have always felt this way: The analysis was basically a graph based on current trends. I want to add a few more points that make Windows 8 a different beast than other tablets.
    Point 1: Windows 8 is a desktop OS, a release of Windows, the dominant desktop OS platform. By the sheer number of install base, developing apps for the Windows store will be developer’s number one target. In terms of install base (desktop and tablets) Windows 8 will surpass the number of iPads on the market, making developing apps for Windows Store the number one priority.

    Soon, it won’t be surprising to see more apps existing for Windows than the iPad, in effect, making Windows Tablets more appealing.

    Point 2: Let’s talk about those who haven’t bought a tablet yet (a lot of people). Many of these people will see Windows 8 on their next PC. In effect, they will have purchased apps from the Windows Store, synced their personal settings, and becoming used to the platform. When they decide to purchase a tablet, going with an Windows 8 device is a huge advantage.

    Point 3: iPad is not available in every country. Windows is. My native country, Bangladesh, has no iPads on the market, but Windows is everywhere (including WIndows 7).

    Point 4: The reason Android is not selling is, as you already pointed this out, lack of tablet optimized apps. Android is so confusing that my parents are afraid to use an android tablet that we own. Once Windows 8 shows up, it will prove to be a better alternative to an iPad than is an Android device.

    That is all!

    • Andrew_Grush

      Oops! Title fixed, thanks!

      Very good points. Much appreciated.

      Personally, I don’t find Android ‘scary’ on a tablet though (as you mention in Point 4)… it really depends on what you are using. Netflix IS actually optimized for tablets now (wasn’t originally), as is the browser. That’s the two primary things my wife uses.

      In general though, iPad is currently superior for tablet UI in many ways to Android, though I honestly still prefer Android to iOS. Could this optimization issue on Android change? Possibly, but by the time it does, Google will have to contend Windows 8, which WILL be optimized in all of its apps for bigger screens and tablets alike.

      • NazmusLabs

        Well, my parents are not tech-savy, and probably that’s why they are afraid to use it. Second of all, the tablet we own runs Gingerbreat (unfortunately), even thoutgh we baught it after ICS was announced. The entire OS is very unoptimized because it’s outdated. What’s worse is that it won’t ever be updated. Because it’s gingerbread, no tablet optmized apps will install, and the funny thing is that the apps refer to the tablet as a “phone”. Let’s not start with teh custom, and horrible, UI that Lenovo put on the OS.

        • Andrew_Grush

          See, my wife’s model runs Honeycomb and the UI isn’t half bad.. but again there still aren’t enough apps that truly utilize tablets correctly in Android.

          I heard that 2.3 (and earlier) make quite awful tablet experiences for most users.

  • Rikkirik

    What a bunch of crap from Gartner and the commentators. W8 is first of all a hybrid product. Even Microsoft does not make a distinction more between a tablet or a PC when it comes to W8. PC Vendors are developing hybrid hardware (PC and tablets in one) because of this unique feature of W8. In 2016 the growth of Ultrabooks (all with W8) alone will be at a rate three times faster than tablets, which will be 270 million Ultrabooks sold by then. The consumer- and enterprise base of Windows PC’s is 500 million each year and the growth of the PC market is still healthy, despite the growth of tablet sales. The tablet market is still a lot smaller than the PC market, and in the PC market Microsoft does not have any competitor (netbook from Google, not by a long long shot). People tend to assume that the tablet market will erode the PCmarket, this is totally baseless, there is no post PC era. PC Vendors (Dell, Asus, Acer, HP, Lenovo, Nokia etc) and even Intel (Ultrabooks) will be pushing W8 vigorously, with big bucks and all their enterprise power behind them. The hybrid feature of W8 will erode the sales of stand alone tablets from Google/Android and Apple.
    Buying a W8 tablets gives you a PC and tablet in one. Gartner seems to approach the W8 tablets without taking into account W8’s unique features and the big companies that will be pushing W8 because they see this as an opportunity to get back in the tablet market for consumers and enterprise. Consumers won’t have no trouble working with W8, because W8 still support the old windows setup while offering the new touch interfaces we are accustomed to with tablets and smartphones. W8 will be a hit and will have a large piece of the market by 2016.   

  • zulbia_bamie

    Gartner is a joke.
    sorry ,but it is a fact.

  • Alexey Cherkaev

    Office package will make the hit. Especially for W8 RT, where it is included from the box.