Apple will likely release the iPad 3 March 7. While the company has managed to dominate the tablet space, it could face a huge threat in Microsoft's Windows 8.
has dominated the consumer tablet market since its inception, but that hasnt
stopped any number of competitors from taking their own runs at the crown. For
the past several months, tablet after tabletusually running Google Android,
with occasional exceptions such as webOShas entered the arena as an ostensible
iPad killer only to suffer through anemic sales and lukewarm reviews.
hosting an event March 7 where it will almost certainly debut the iPad 3. We
have something you really have to see. And touch, reads the invitation sent to
the media, which includes an image of a finger touching the calendar app on an
iPad screen. Over the past few months, rumors have focused on the next-generation
tablets possible features, including a high-resolution screen (in a Feb. 9
pegged the resolution at 2,048 by 1,536), as well as a more powerful processor
might gain the iPad franchise an extra competitive advantage over the
lightweight tablets in the space, but Apple faces a much larger challenge on
the tablet horizon: Windows 8.
On Feb. 29,
Microsoft offered up the Consumer Preview (or beta) of Windows 8, which will
arrive sometime later in 2012. The Consumer Preview can be found in a special
on Microsofts Website; the betas ISO files (for those who wish to
install it on another partition or virtual machine are also available
In a bid to spread the Windows franchise onto tablets in addition to
traditional PCs, Windows 8s start screen is composed of a set of colorful (and
touchable) tiles linked to applications, with the old style desktop interface
accessible via a single click or finger tap.
might not make Windows 8 a viable iPad competitor, but Microsoft has more up
its sleeve than a sleek user-interface redesign. For months, Microsoft
executives have insisted that their new operating system will provide a robust,
no compromises experience. Power users will have access to the usual features
they expect from Windows. The Windows Store will offer a wide variety of apps.
Cloud-related features include cloud storage, the ability to roam all settings,
and communicate with email and contacts from a Windows Phone smartphone or
features in place, Windows 8 tablets could prove attractive to business users
and consumers who like the familiarity of the Windows brand. But Microsoft will
still have to deal with Apples significant lead in the space.
Nicholas Kolakowski on Twitter