One of the biggest problems that Windows Vista faced wasn’t horrible design or even optimization, okay, at least these were not the ‘core’ issue at blame. What was it? Marketing and quality control- Microsoft allowed computers that had NO BUSINESS running Windows Vista put it on their hardware.
Pushing Windows Vista onto slow hardware didn’t make users say, “Hey, this computer is slow”, instead they felt it was the new OS at blame (and they were at least partially right).
Most users that say they liked Windows Vista happened to have mid-to-high end-rigs at the time, so they were never aware of the issues that plagued low-end machines. In Windows 7, Microsoft optimized the OS so it could run on just about every hardware profile any vendor would possibly consider using at the time, a move that paid off and created a very well received operating system.
What about Windows 8, though? There have been many complaints that certain x86 tablets don’t run so well with Windows 8 – even if they are (barely) within the minimum requirements set for the OS. Part of Windows 8’s success will be that it arrives without any major snags right from the beginning. Customers don’t forget or forgive very well, as we saw with Windows Vista.
I am confident that MS will have some very good tablets right from the beginning, both for x86 and ARM, but will it have some duds that could hurt its early reputation as well? So far though, it seems that the early tablets we are seeing will have reasonable specifications.
According to Neowin, they now have their hands on a leaked Latitude 10 tablet’s parts and pieces. This is an entry model, probably $300-400, while I’m not super-impressed by the specs, considering this sounds like an entry-level model, they aren’t too bad. It features a 32-nanometer dual-core Clover Trail, 2GB DRR2-800 memory, a 10.1-inch 1366×768 display and possibly a stylus, and 128GB SSD storage.
Probably one of the cooler and more useful features are swappable batteries. Dell hasn’t had the smoothest sailing in tablet territory so far, so it remains to see how good this model will do- but it sounds like a good start. That being said, if this model ends up past $400, then I’d say its specs look a little weak.
This is just one example of many tablets we’ve seen that are going to support Windows 8, and for the most part it seems that the Vista problem is gone. That being said, I’m curious about regulation of Windows 8 x86 tablets. I know that ARM is going to be a bit more controlled, but on the x86 is there anything to stop some dubious-quality brand from creating a bunch of lower end Windows 8 tablets that don’t run so well?
Of course it would probably take more than a few bad apples to ruin the bunch, with Vista I’d say at least 30% of the PCs on the market at the time had Vista issues, probably more.
Not everyone is as confident about hardware specs in the early Windows 8 x86 tablets we’ve seen. It seems that PC World is already comparing x86 tablets, the Dell leak in particular, to their laptop counterparts, asking questions like why would anyone want to pay $100-$300 more for a tablet that has the same specs as an entry-laptop?
This is one of the reasons I think that ARM entry-devices will do better than x86.. they won’t get compared to laptops as much, instead getting compared to iPad and Android- where I think Windows 8 competes quite nicely.
What do you think? Is there any chance that Windows 8 will have a future similar to Windows Vista, or is success in the cards? There was a time I was leaning towards believing that Windows 8’s future was dim, but more and more, I find reasons to be impressed with Windows 8.
What do you think of the Dell tablet that was leaked, good enough specs for you to consider it?
Share your thoughts below.