Windows 8 Tablets Will Have Trouble Catching On: 10 Reasons Why

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2012-06-04

Windows 8 Tablets Will Have Trouble Catching On: 10 Reasons Why

Windows 8 is now closer than ever to launching. The operating system is being shown off in release previews, users are able to test it and Microsoft is promising better and better experiences with each new launch. It€™s clear that Microsoft believes Windows 8 is one of its most significant launches in an awfully long time. Furthermore, it€™s apparent that the company€™s loyal followers are just as excited to get their hands on the software giant€™s latest creation.

A key component in Microsoft€™s strategy is tablets. Windows has so far been left out of the tablet market, causing an immense amount of concern among Microsoft€™s investors. What€™s worse, the company€™s vendor partners have continued to warm to Google€™s Android platform, making some wonder if Windows€™ chances of actually succeeding in the tablet market are far slimmer than one might expect.

Whether Windows 8 will succeed on tablets over the long-term is tough to say. However, if anything is clear, it€™s that, at least in the short-term, Windows 8 tablets will have some serious trouble competing in the marketplace.

Read on to find out why:

1. The analysts aren€™t usually that far off

According to nearly all market researchers, Windows 8 will have an exceedingly difficult time breaking into the tablet market in the coming quarters. Although analysts can sometimes be wrong, they€™re rarely so far off the mark that they should be ignored. Keep that in mind as you ponder Windows 8 adoption on tablets.

2. Consumer knowledge

Consumers know the iPad. And over the last several quarters, they€™ve come to know (and in some cases, really like) Android on tablets. The issue for Microsoft is that not too many people have considered trying out Windows on tablets. That won€™t change anytime soon. Until consumers change their attitudes about Windows on tablets, which is not a certainty, Windows 8 cannot succeed.

3. The enterprise€™s deployment schedule

In the short-term, especially, there seems to be no way that Microsoft will be able to get Windows 8 tablets into the enterprise to the degree to which it would like. Unfortunately for the software giant, corporate IT decision-makers are slow to make decisions and they only deploy products after they are thoroughly convinced a new product is a safe bet. That€™s simply not happening anytime soon after Windows 8 launches.

4. They€™re competing against Apple

If the mobile space has taught us anything, it€™s that competing against Apple can be extremely difficult. In fact, trying to take the company€™s iPad or iPhone down is nearly impossible. Yet Microsoft is trying to do just that with Windows 8-based tablets. Unless the company has the magic bullet, don€™t expect Windows 8 to take off in a big way.

Microsoft Needs to Score a Breakthrough in Tablet Design

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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