10 Ways for Windows 8 Tablets to Succeed in the Mobile Market

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More Help From Microsoft Would Be Nice

Although Microsoft has been the leader of the Windows 8 movement, it's debatable whether the company has really done enough to help Windows 8 tablet makers succeed. For now, it appears that the Surface is all Microsoft cares about. And that's unfortunate. It needs all the help it can get from its long-term OEM partners.

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It's All About Education

The biggest barrier to entry for many would-be Windows 8 customers is the operating system's design. The software's major design change means customers are wary of how well it would work for their needs. Plus, they've heard of the substantial learning curve. Right now, Microsoft and its vendor partners must endeavor to educate the customer base about Windows 8, or the operating system and slates running it will fail.

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Some Help From the Enterprise

The corporate world has so far been loath to adopt Windows 8. Many IT decision makers have decided that the operating system is too different to justify bringing it into the marketplace, and with news of Windows Blue around the corner, they might want to take a wait-and-see approach. That needs to change if Windows 8 tablets are to be successful.

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Better Vendor Support Is Needed

Right now, it's hard to find too many vendors that are doing all they can to help Windows 8 succeed. Companies like Lenovo and Samsung are selling Windows 8 tablets, but their most popular models aren't running that operating system. Microsoft needs to work harder with vendors—especially Nokia and Samsung—if Windows 8 slates are to succeed.

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A True Reason for Windows RT

Microsoft has yet to prove to any customer why Windows RT-based devices are really needed. Granted, they run on ARM-based products, but the average customer doesn't understand that. That's probably why the Surface RT's sales were slow. Microsoft either needs to get rid of Windows RT or make customers understand why it matters.

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Enhance the Surface's Value Proposition

In the world of tablets, value is what differentiates products. For the most part, slates are running the same internal components and operating systems. This means all the added benefits of owning a product must be made clear to customers. So far, the Surface's value proposition hasn't been fully detailed. What makes the Surface special? Is it the Touch Cover? Is it the device's magnesium finish? What about its big 10.6-inch display? Microsoft's television ads don't really discuss the details. They are mainly a music and dance routine showing how light and portable it is with the click-on keyboard. Microsoft needs to tell us more about why the Surface is a must-buy.

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More of a Marketing Push Is Needed

A marketing push is extremely important right now. Over the last few months, we've heard little about Windows 8 and—other than the Surface—even less about the tablets running the software. Although not many people are buying tablets right now, with spring now here, they're thinking seriously about their next purchase. The time for a marketing push is now.

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Make Clear the Integration Across Microsoft Products

One of the nice things about Windows 8 is that it makes it easy to keep everything in order across Microsoft's many products. SkyDrive, for example, is an ideal cloud service for those who want to save important files in the cloud and then access them again on tablets. Two Windows 8 devices can also easily talk with one another to transfer files. That integration is extremely important. It's just too bad Microsoft hasn't detailed it.

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The Hybrid Tablets Are Important

One of the key areas in which Windows 8 tablets could be successful is in the hybrid slates. Those devices, which can act as a tablet in one capacity and a notebook in another, deliver the kind of savings on total cost of ownership that CIOs like. Better yet, they combine a physical keyboard with tablet functionality, thus getting the most out of Windows 8. Microsoft should push its tablet partners for more hybrids.

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The 7-Inch Support Is Very Important

Microsoft has only recently pronounced support for 7-inch tablets with Windows 8. Although it's a long time coming and should have been done long ago, it's very important move that should help Windows 8 tablets. Now Microsoft needs to get vendors to play ball.

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