Entering into the tablet market isn’t an easy affair.
Tablets haven’t been a craze for very long and yet they have already had at least one casualty and at least one other on the way.
That’s right, I’m talking about WebOS.
WebOS was originally a PALM invention and while somewhat similar in design to Android on first glance, it was a very unique and capable environment.
So why did WebOS fizzle out so magnificently and will Windows 8 suffer the same fate?
Rest assured, the biggest problem with WebOS will not occur with Windows 8, lack of marketing strategy. HP was going through many problems all around after acquiring WebOS.
The marketing strategy and internal support of the platform was a joke. If HP wasn’t really giving WebOS it’s all, why should the customer spend its hard earned dollar on the platform?
It also didn’t seem to help that overall HP seemed to have a pretty high price point in mind. At the same time, you have to wonder if WebOS would have stayed in the market if HP had changed out its CEO earlier than it did.
Microsoft tends to understand the marketplace better than HP and Windows 8 is based on already established technology, which certainly should help it get adopted.
In contrast, WebOS’s experience prior to HP taking it was as a Palm product that was never that well received.
Still, Microsoft doesn’t have an easy battle ahead, especially due to the fact it has waited so long to get involved with the market and has pushed ARM notebooks back to 2013.
RIM, for example, had an established base with its Blackberry OS but decided to change things up with a new tablet OS experience.
Despite having an existing market, the Playbook hasn’t done well and even with recent firesale stratgies bringing the price down to $200 for the base model, it still isn’t doing great.
So why didn’t RIM’s Playbook catch on? Marketing wasn’t the biggest issue here, instead it was giving an experience that users wanted.
There is no native email app in the Playbook and many services such as Hulu won’t cooperate (at least not without some extensive hacking/rooting).
The great part about both of these companies failing in the market is that Microsoft has seen plenty of different examples of what to do right and what to do wrong in the tablet market.
With reports coming in that few people really want or care about Windows on a tablet, what can Microsoft do to help itself establish a name as a tablet technology?
According to this same article it is being reported that most users don’t care about the OS, they care about the hardware model and how the system feels.
Like the article says, it probably has a lot to do with how easy they find the OS, even if they don’t care WHAT the OS is, and also what kind of apps they can get.
To do well, Microsoft needs to work with its bigger partners like Nokia and HP to make sure that cutting edge tablets are developed that attract users based on their looks.
As far as the feel of the tablet? Metro feels a lot like Windows Phone 7, which isn’t doing that well. So why is Phone 7 not doing well?
Partially because Windows Mobile has had a bad rep over the years and also because of the false perception that their isn’t any good apps.
Microsoft needs to focus on apps and tablet designs, but I think in the end it will come down to marketing. They have many key partners like Qualcom and Nokia that give them additional push and this is important.
Right now many potential ‘casual’ smartphone owners could be great targets for a tablet running 8.
They don’t know what Windows 8 is right now, hence why it is reported they don’t care.
If Microsoft targets commercials making it clear that with the Windows 8 tablet you aren’t settling for some ‘under-powered stripped OS, but the full OS behind your favorite desktops and laptops”, they could possibly attract some users this way.
So what do you think, is Microsoft just too late to do any real good in the market? What will redeem the company in the tablet market, its hardware, software, or marketing strategy? Share your thoughts below.