Microsoft Needs to Score a Breakthrough in Tablet Design

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2012-06-04 Print this article Print

5. Performance matters

There€™s a big question mark related to Windows 8: how well will it perform on tablets? Windows 8 will be a winner for desktops and laptops and even Ultrabooks. But tablets are very different machines that require quick responsiveness, fast boot-ups and solid battery lives. Will Windows 8 be able to deliver that? Until customers can determine it, the platform won€™t succeed.

6. Where€™s the innovation?

One can say what they want about Apple€™s decision to include iOS in the iPad, but it makes for a uniquely mobile experience. For today€™s consumers and even enterprise users, that€™s important. With Microsoft, however, it plans to include the same operating system on its desktop and notebook in a tablet. There€™s nothing unique about that and that€™s a problem.

7. Does Microsoft €œget€ tablets?

There€™s no telling if Microsoft really €œgets€ tablets right now. After all, the company has been trying to make a splash in that space for the last few years and has failed miserably. Even worse, it hasn€™t been able to stay in the good graces of tablet vendors over the years (remember HP?). Who knows if Microsoft can get things right?

8. It all comes back to Android

When evaluating the chances of a company succeeding in today€™s hotly contested tablet market, it€™s impossible to not consider the impact Android could have. Google€™s platform is attracting a host of third-party vendors that Microsoft needs to be successful in the tablet market. One of Microsoft€™s first battles in the tablet space will be proving to tablet vendors that Android really isn€™t the right platform for them.

9. Product design looks to be sub-par

Over the last several months, Microsoft and its vendor partners have been showing off some tablet concepts that could make their way to store shelves when Windows 8 launches. There€™s just one problem: the market has yet to see tablet designs that can approaches the Apple€™s iPad in features or performance. Product design is immensely important. When will Microsoft and third-party vendors realize that?

10. A redesign of epic proportions

When it€™s all said and done, the big question surrounding Windows 8 is whether the platform will be appealing to customers. Windows 8 is a major departure in design and functionality from its predecessors and there€™s no guarantee that consumers and enterprise users will be happy with this latest version. If Windows 8 falls short, don€™t expect tablets running the software to impress anyone.

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Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

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