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. Its clear that Microsoft believes Windows 8 is one of its most significant launches in an awfully long time. Furthermore, its apparent that the companys loyal followers are just as excited to get their hands on the software giants latest creation.
A key component in Microsofts strategy is tablets. Windows has so far been left out of the tablet market, causing an immense amount of concern among Microsofts investors. Whats worse, the companys vendor partners have continued to warm to Googles 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, its 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 arent 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, theyre 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, theyve 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 wont change anytime soon. Until consumers change their attitudes about Windows on tablets, which is not a certainty, Windows 8 cannot succeed.
3. The enterprises 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. Thats simply not happening anytime soon after Windows 8 launches.
4. Theyre competing against Apple
If the mobile space has taught us anything, its that competing against Apple can be extremely difficult. In fact, trying to take the companys 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, dont expect Windows 8 to take off in a big way.
Microsoft Needs to Score a Breakthrough in Tablet Design
5. Performance matters
Theres 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 wont succeed.
6. Wheres the innovation?
One can say what they want about Apples decision to include iOS in the iPad, but it makes for a uniquely mobile experience. For todays consumers and even enterprise users, thats important. With Microsoft, however, it plans to include the same operating system on its desktop and notebook in a tablet. Theres nothing unique about that and thats a problem.
7. Does Microsoft get tablets?
Theres no telling if Microsoft really gets 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 hasnt 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 todays hotly contested tablet market, its impossible to not consider the impact Android could have. Googles platform is attracting a host of third-party vendors that Microsoft needs to be successful in the tablet market. One of Microsofts first battles in the tablet space will be proving to tablet vendors that Android really isnt 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. Theres just one problem: the market has yet to see tablet designs that can approaches the Apples 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 its 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 theres no guarantee that consumers and enterprise users will be happy with this latest version. If Windows 8 falls short, dont expect tablets running the software to impress anyone.