Mary Jo Foley has written a pretty thought provoking piece on the direction that Microsoft chose to take with Windows 8.
In the article entitled “Why ‘Windows 8’ Isn’t What I Thought It Would Be“, she makes a pretty powerful point about Microsoft’s view on tablets for the consumer:
There are several reasons I’m skeptical that Windows 8 will be an automatic win on tablets, but they all boil down to my belief that tablets are not PCs or PC replacements for the majority of users. Microsoft officials continue to insist that tablets are just a sub-category of PCs. They insist that users want to be able to run both legacy and new apps (but not necessarily existing Windows Phone apps) on their tablets. While this positioning may provide Microsoft with a ready retort to critics who suggest that the post-PC era has arrived, in my view it contorts market realities to fit Microsoft’s existing business model.
She also talks about the financial incentive Microsoft have to use the full blown Windows 8 OS over the Phone OS for tablets.
It’s a great article and I recommend you all read it.
I do think that she has a very interesting point with the above quoted statement.
What is the role of a slate or tablet?
Apple have drawn the line in the sand regarding their view of tablets. They have built and defined the Ipad as primarily a consumption device that allows interaction.
If Microsoft are taking the view that Windows 8 Tablets are PC’s or PC replacements, they are (in Steve Jobs fashion) attempting to bend the realities of the market to their will – she alludes to that above.
I am absolutely torn down the middle here.
On one hand I totally agree with her that it seems a lot more natural and intuitive to use a tablet for consumption and recreation – something that a Windows Phone OS might have worked really well for.
On the other hand I have been really impressed by Microsoft’s detailed strategy, level of innovation, clarity of vision and level of originality. You can’t call a Windows 8 tablet an Ipad, that’s for sure. It is pretty credible that this Windows 8 thing may work for tablets (given the right price point).
Once again it’s a great article and you should read it.
When I have toss up topics, I love to hand it to you guys and girls to decide. Please take the poll below and tell me what you think.