Dell and Microsoft have had a very strong partnership for at least the past ten years, so it was no surprise to me when I found out that Dell was going to release Windows 8 devices soon.
Dell CEO Michael Dell talked about Windows 8 at Dell’s Dell World Event, “We are very aligned with Microsoft around Windows 8. You’ll hear more about Windows 8 from us and see a wide range of products released.”
There was no mention about the actual device though. It could be a tablet, which wouldn’t be surprising, or it could be a desktop/laptop, which to me, actually would be surprising.
No one at this point seems really focused on building Windows 8 specific desktops/laptops. Most people are focused on tablets because it’s new for Microsoft to be making a mobile operating system.
But let’s not forget that Windows 8 is still very much a desktop operating system. It has a powerful desktop view that isn’t really meant for tablets just like the Metro Start Screen wasn’t built for desktops.
Another reason I think that Dell may be making a tablet is because Dell hasn’t really had a hit in the tablet market. (well no one really has except for Apple and maybe Samsung.)
Samsung has the most popular Android tablet while Apple has the most pouplar iOS tablet (duh.) Windows 8 gives other tablet manufacturers, like Dell, another chance to find out where they stand in the tablet market.
I don’t think that Dell will be able to realistically compete with the iPad on Windows 8 for a few reasons.
First off, even though there are going to be fewer Windows 8 tablets than Android, there still will probably be at least five major players:
Samsung, as you know, already has made a Windows 8 tablet, (even if it does need improvement) I expect HTC to also step in because of how big they’re getting and how fast they are expanding, there’s also Nokia who is currently trying to move away from Symbian and find other operating system options, LG will probably also make a Windows 8 tablet because they have already made a really good Windows Phone 7 phone, and then of course there’s Dell.
So that’s five manufacturers already which is a lot of competition. One of the reasons that the iPad is so popular is because it’s platform is exclusive.
No one else can run iOS unlike the other operating systems, this means that more people will want the iPad because of the very large app selection and because they can only run these apps on the iPad.
If Dell got some kind of contract with Microsoft that guaranteed exclusive rights to Windows 8, then more people would definitely want a Dell Windows 8 tablet, but that would probably never happen especially since Samsung had the tablet at the BUILD conference and Windows is traditionally on a lot of computers, so I don’t think Microsoft would want to shut everyone else out.
But I do think that Dell stands a pretty good chance of becoming one of the major Windows 8 tablet manufacturers, especially if they’re planning now.
Good luck Dell.