Even though Microsoft hasn’t made a tablet that has even come close to the sales of iPads or any Android tablets, Windows 8 will probably change that completely. Gartner consulting firm thinks a little differently though.
“The current buzz around Windows 8 driven by the demonstrations seen at the Build conference might be short-lived if Microsoft’s push to use the new OS across devices comes at a compromise in usability,” Gartner said.
“Moreover, the late arrival might limit its appeal, especially to consumers, as Apple and Android will be more entrenched by then.”
Basically, Gartner is worried that Microsoft will try to push their system-on-a-chip strategy so far that the actual functionality of the operating system will be reduced because it has to work on multiple devices.
They are also making a good point about the late arrival of the Windows 8 tablet.
The iPad has been out for almost two years now and Apple is expected to release the iPad 3 before a Windows 8 tablet even hits the market. Google is also expected to ship Ice-cream Sandwich, the next version of their Android operating system.
Gartner says that Microsoft still has one big advantage over all the other tablet competitors, “Microsoft’s platform will find its biggest opportunities in the enterprise segment, where IT departments could benefit from smoother integration with existing Microsoft software.”
Of course, since none of the x86 apps will run on any ARM-based tablets, companies may have a harder time integrating existing software on some of their tablets. This doesn’t necessarily mean that Microsoft won’t do better that the other tablets in IT departments though.
Microsoft will have some catching up to do though. Gartner reports that Apple has sold 46.7 millions iPads, and there have been 11.02 million Android tablets sold. Microsoft has sold none.
Gartner research VP Carolina Milanesi has an explanation for this, “This is because Apple delivers a superior and unified user experience across its hardware, software, and services.”
I disagree with Gartner. I think that Windows 8 actually has a pretty good chance of surpassing Android in sales and at least being a significant competititor to the iPad.
First off, there are too many Android devices. They all have similar features to each other. None of the tablets actually stand out from one another.
Because of this, a lot of consumers choose Android tablets based on price. If you want to buy an iPad on the other hand, you practically have no choice.
The only difference in the models is storage space and whether you have 3G data access or not. You also don’t have much control when it comes to the software.
The app store is limited, the operating system (iOS) is rigid when is comes to customization, and content syncing is almost completely limited to iTunes.
Windows 8 fixes some of these problems. Windows is proprietary so not every tablet manufacturer will have it, so you won’t be flooded with Windows tablets, but you will have choice in what models you can buy.
The Windows 8 app store may be closed, but if you have an Intel based tablet, you will be able to run x86 apps. I also think that Windows 8 will be more open to customization than iOS.
What do you think? Can Windows compete against Android and iOS? Or is it too late?
Please post your comments below.