Windows Tablets Need Tweaks to Become Apple iPad Threat: Analyst
Windows' next version will run on ARM-based systems, according to Microsoft, but any tablets could need software tweaks to compete against Apple iOS and Google Android.The next version of Windows will run on ARM-based systems, Microsoft announced at this year's Consumer Electronics Show, and in theory that could squeeze the operating system onto smaller and lighter form-factors. But according to at least one analyst, Microsoft will also need to make some fundamental changes to Windows' software if it wants to compete against Apple's iOS and Google Android for a chunk of the tablet market. "I think they will likely be successful in replacing some PC notebooks and netbooks, so they will bash it out with Android tablets fighting for spare money in consumer pockets for second or third devices," Al Hilwa, an analyst with research firm IDC, wrote in a Jan. 13 e-mail to eWEEK. "But these devices will not seriously challenge the iPad because they lack its user interface fluidity and simplicity and the content portfolio, and make different compromises on weight and battery life."
Microsoft announced Jan. 5 that the next version of Windows will support SoC (system-on-a-chip) architecture, in particular ARM-based systems from partners such as Qualcomm, Nvidia Corp. and Texas Instruments. Windows currently dominates the x86 platform used by traditional PCs, but the rise of increasingly powerful mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, largely powered by ARM chip designs, has created both a growing opportunity and a threat for the decades-old operating system franchise.