An uncomfortable truth: When Windows 8 comes out, Android tablets will become pointless

September 12, 2012
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Nilay Patel and Dieter Bohn from The Verge recently penned an article, suggesting that once tablets running Microsoft’s Windows 8 and Windows RT operating systems hit the market, Android tablets will effectively die. It pains us to say this, but they’re right. Right now the “tablet market”, if you even want to call it that, is dominated by the iPad. The only two Android tablets that have made a dent in the tablet space are Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Google’s Nexus 7. What do they both have in common? They’re half the price of Apple’s cheapest iPad. When Apple enters the budget tablet market later this year with their rumored 7.85 inch iPad mini, well … there goes the small gains that Android made.

But forget about the small iPad for a second, what’s Microsoft got that Google doesn’t? Starting with the obvious, they have a brand that people associate with computing. Whether or not you like the Microsoft brand is irrelevant, people like to use things that they’re familiar with. Yes, Windows 8 and Windows RT transform Windows into something the world has never seen before, but there’s going to be a flood of computers out on the market by the time Christmas rolls around, all filled to the brim with colorful tiles.

When consumers go to their local electronics stores this holiday shopping season, they’ll see the new Windows machines, many of which can be transformed into a traditional laptop, and they’ll feel confident in buying something running Microsoft’s software because Microsoft’s software is what they’ve been using since the 1990s.

Can Google fix their tablet situation? Not really. Once OEMs see that people want Windows tablets, they’ll transition a majority of their portfolio to Windows machines. In much the same way that Samsung only makes one or two Windows Phones a year, it isn’t going to be too long until the big PC makers make only one or two Android tablets instead.

It hurts coming to this realization if you’re a huge Android fan, but it’s the hard truth.

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