Does Windows 8 Fit In The Tablet Market? Yes, It Certainly Does.

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I’ve been told by several users that I might be a little harsh in how I feel that Windows 8 is unfolding for the desktop. I am mixed about how well it will be received and whether or not they should have put so much emphasis on Metro the DESKTOP version. As for tablets?

I like the Metro look, it’s simple to navigate and not overly cluttered. Windows 8, in general, seems quite powerful and stable as an OS, and though some have wondered whether or not such a large OS will work on a tablet, I think that tablet requirements for HDD/SD size have become large enough to make this a non-issue. So, let’s take a look at where Windows 8 tablets could fit into the market. As a warning, I’ve barely ever used an iPad and will have to go on what I’ve heard and know about the platform in this comparison.

Freedom Of Choice And Pricing

There is no denying that a premium exists on Apple products, and though I’ve heard some Apple fanatics try to argue this point, the fact is that you pay more for the shiny Apple logo than comparable Android tablets. This has changed a little with the new iPad and the iPad 2’s price cut, though. Even if you set price aside, you have little options with Apple. You can get an iPad 2 or the “new” iPad. That’s it, nothing else to see here.

As for Android? Options are KEY. There are tons of ranges with their hardware, from cheap MIPS-based devices that are under $90, to $500+ devices that have quad cores and run quite well. So where does this leave Windows 8? In a VERY good position, actually. They can’t range as low as Android due to fairly strict requirements, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there was at least one “base” device that stayed pretty close to $300-$350. Perhaps a 7-incher? On the other end of this spectrum, a Windows 8 tablet can do things that Android and iOS can’t begin to dream of…. if you are willing to pay a hefty price for the hardware. This may not be true of ARM devices, but x86 tablets can run most of today’s games, hardware and more, making them way more than just the media consumption device that most Android and iOS devices are. Before I start a war, I realize that Android/iOS aren’t just media consumption devices, but that is still their primary target group I’d wager.

As A Bridge Device

I am 100% certain MS has big plans for the future. I have questioned Metro, sometimes to the point of being admittedly too harsh, but I suspect MS wouldn’t ‘force’ Metro upon the desktop world unless it was part of a bigger scheme.

My personal thoughts is that this scheme has to do with using Metro as a bridge between multiple devices such as Windows Phone, Xbox 360 (and 720), other tablets, and possibly even Kinect-based set-top boxes and TVs right in your living room.

MS would NOT risk its traditional PC user base unless it had a bigger plan in mind, and I think a more general entertainment presence might be part of the plan. Will this plan work and is it worth the risk? I have mixed emotions here, but only time will tell.

Another theory, somewhat related to Windows 8 as a bridge device, that was brought forth by a Windows 8 Update reader, is that Kinect (and touch) will have a major integrated presence into desktops and laptops. There is a fair amount of evidence for this, though again, we’ll see how that is received.

Bottom line is that Windows 8 represents change and change brings naysayers. I’ve decided to tone back my criticism so I don’t very likely have to eat my own words later when Windows 8 brings about a bigger revolution that we can currently imagine. I might not happen, but I’m no fortune-teller (even if I try to be from time to time). So, Windows 8 DOES have a great future in the tablet world if it plays it’s cards right- at least in my opinion. IF I ever decide to get a tablet (I dunno, not sold on touch myself), Windows 8 would probably be the route I’d take, even though my wife does have an Iconia Tab. I have owned a Mac, but I really have no interest in an iPad, I left Mac OSX because Windows 7 proved a great equalizer that was much more open and gave me more choice. Why go back to a locked down world? So that would leave Android and Windows… but I suspect Windows x86 tablets have the most appeal to me personally. What’s your opinion? How do you think Windows 8 will fit in with tablets? And elsewhere? Share your thoughts below.

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  • NazmusLabs

    Android tablets are HORRIBLE in terms of UX. The hardware may be good, with great specs, but the software is buggy, beta-like, and apps are…bad. First of all, virtually no tablet optmized apps exists in the Android platform. With an android tablet, all apps are “blown up” phone apps and look and work terribly.

    I know this by experience. I own an Android tablet and regret having this ever sense. The software lags, even with more powerful specs than the iPad or a Windows 8 PC. iPad has apps optimized for tablets and is “fast and fluid”. Windows 8 apps won’t be phone apps and will also be fast and fluid.
    There is a good reason virtually no Android tablets are successful (besides the kindle fire). Windows 8 will finally bring an alternative to the iPad, something Android has massively failed to even get close to.

  • Damianmcnasty

    I think Windows 8 exists because of the need to cater to the tablet market. No tablets then possibly no metro interface. Windows 8 will fit into the tablet world because slate tablet users like me (HP slate) have a love/hate relationship with using Windows 7. I can’t wait for Windows 8 on my tablet as it will make life on my tablet easier and less frustrating. On the other hand I will NOT install Windows 8 on my pc desktop or laptop. Thus, Windows 8 is most relevant to tablet users and not very relevant to pc users. MS has to make tablet users happy because it is all about ease of use on tablets and they are NOT doing that by having metro AND desktop. It confuses me.

  • Dineshbharathy

    Totally agree with the point that METRO on Windows 8 for desktops is only part of a larger plan. I have personally seen Metro’s theme of tile based interaction creeping in on it’s websites way back from 2007. That’s when all the rounded edges vanished on its website. I wondered why so crazy at that time. But I can only think back to realize it was all connected with METRO.

  • Poetdarlington

    which tablet manufacturer are you suggesting for Windows 8 ?