Could Windows 8 tablets arrive too late to matter?

by: Mike AndriciMay 3, 2012
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Windows 8 Tablet
As Android seems bound to overtake the tablet market share crown from the iPad, there’s a new contender on the horizon: Microsoft’s Windows 8. Granted, the Consumer Preview of Windows 8 seems to show that Microsoft did their best and have developed a decent OS, not to mention the impressive hardware announced for the upcoming Windows 8 tablets. But, it’s not all pink butterflies, as there are some that believe there’s a chance that Microsoft’s tablet OS will arrive too late to a very competitive party.

One of those people is Alan Masarek, CEO of QuickOffice (the developers of the Quickoffice app that allows iPad users to edit Microsoft Office documents). When asked to share thoughts regarding the impact that Windows 8 will make on the tablet market, Masarek was eager to point out that Microsoft will be “too late”, as there aren’t enough developers out there willing to build apps for the new platform:

“Windows 8 is a binary break from Windows 7,” said Masarek. “[Microsoft is] sprinkling a lot of dollars around to try and get the app developers to write for it and that’s not going to work. Mobile development, when you’re talking about hundreds of thousands of apps and it’s three guys and a dog somewhere, it has to happen organically. You can’t say I’m going to pick the Angry Birds guy and this guy and this guy. In the device world, the application tail wags the device dog.”

Granted, we wouldn’t expect anything else from the CEO of a company that generates its revenue via an iPad app, but as it turns out, there are others who share his vision. Jim Dempsey, Panasonic’s Business Enterprise Development Manager claims Windows 8 on ARM lacks enough juice to power tablets that consumers could consider as notebook PC replacements. Unlike QuickOffice, Panasonic is a company that plans to get involved in the Windows 8 ecosystem with a tablet designed for enterprise buyers, planned for a January 2013 release date.

But nobody is willing to count Windows 8 off entirely. Mark Holleran, COO of Xplore Technologies, claims that while Microsoft is late, “they still own the enterprise applications (market). Windows 8 is no XP, the Metro tiles interface is pretty good, I like it”. Masarek also believes that Windows 8 will be a good OS, mostly because it is facing competitive opposition, thus forcing Microsoft to spend as much money as necessary to push Windows 8 tablet sales.

What do you guys think? Are Windows 8 tablets a serious threat to the iPad and Android tablets? Or will Windows 8 be a minor competitor in the tablet market, much like WP7 is only a small player in the smartphone market? Drop us a line in the comment section below!

  • AndyH

    Being and android fan as well as a .net developer:

    There’s a whole bunch of people out there who don’t want an ipad and further, don’t comprehend android (I was one 2 years ago), who do, however own an xbox, a windows pc and use the web. a well positioned, suitably powered, slick and simple enough win8 metro tablet – which will seamlessly talk to xbox (and therefore tv), and their windows pc…. and their phone… and deliver web / home media into the palm of their hands whilst they watch tv….

    it’s going to sell….

    If android had made further in-roads (I just don’t believe that it has in the tablet space, regardless of that cnet report and graphs with upward curving lines…. as much as it pains me to say so…) then I’d agree, I just don’t see the uptake for android tablets that we were all hoping for and as such the door’s left open for MS to squeeze in..

    Now…. that could all change by the time win8 tabs hit the market, but it’d take something fairly outrageous coming out the woodwork for that to happen (ipad-level, 1/2 ipad price nexus tablet?)

    PS – I do own an asus transformer (old skool) – and nexus 1, have 4 pcs @ home and develop java and .net apps for a living…. but still…. hey… what do I know?


    • Win 8 tablets are going to hit the ground running at $800. Mark my words.

      “a well positioned, suitably powered, slick and simple enough win8 metro tablet”

      For sure, would be nice. If only all these devices could play nice, and actually offer people a unified experience, and be able to perform in the way you mentioned above, we’d all live in a better world.

      But honestly, I highly doubt Win 8 tablets are going to take off. them love it too though, this can and should be a many horse race.

      And don’t forget – we all know our positions – but often it’s very challenging to get in the mind of “the consumer”.

  • Droidfan

    The next 12 months is going to pretty well answer the question of how the players in the pad market are going to stack up for the next 3 or 4 years. And that picture could take on just about any combination. The pad market is pretty fluid at this point. The iPad is selling great…but it hasn’t closed the deal, as demonstrated by the lowly Kindle Fire Xmas sales. . Android is about to push out its best offering yet….and a couple of them look very promising. And, more so than in the smart phone arena, MS could become a viable player in the pad market.

    • I totally agree with you. The next 9 months are absolutely critical in determining who the players are going to be. But, I believe the writing is on the wall. There’s no doubt in my mind that it will be iPad, Android, and MSFT, in that order. I don’t believe Windows 8 tablets will ever be able to get past 10% market share, but enterprises and geeks will love them.

      • 8PAQ

        I have to disagree. I have always been a Windows user. In couple of years as my current Windows laptop replacement I will likely get a Windows 8 or 9 tablet. I am just waiting for memory prices to fall enough so that I can have a tablet with at least 512 GM SSD disk.

      • Scientificbob

        “Windows 8 tablets will ever be able to get past 10% market share, but enterprises and geeks will love them”

        Do you realise that if Enterprises love them… those alone will account for a LOT more then 10%?

  • 8PAQ

    Good news:

    iPad is back to 68% of the tablet market. Kindle Fire sales slumped in the 1st quarter after people realized it’s limitations.

    • AppleFUD

      Dude, get over yourself.

      ipad sold at 68% for the quarter from the articles I read. . . but it doesn’t matter either way. You are crowing about apple dropping form 98% to 68% in about a year’s time against VERY weak competition — honeycomb, an OS thrown together with little to no app dev support, and hardware almost exclusively built on Tegra 2, a older and not very good SoC that in general most Android tablets were laggy on.

      And you want to crow about that? What do you think is going to happen now that Android is unified and an app can run on a phone or tablet and A15 chips will be here shortly and Win8 tablets hit? Apple will quickly be back in their niche ~25% market share as always.

      By crowing about this now you just make yourself look like a foolish idiot in the long run.

    • AppleFUD

      Just ran across this article on PCWorld that helps clarify the misguided bloggers, and you, banging on about Q1 tablet “sales” and the Kindle Fire.

      original source:

      No, it sales didn’t drop off a cliff, just shipments because they stocked up during the release quarter so they would have supplies for consumers — 1.8 Million for Q1 & 3.8m previous quarter for a very low hardware spec 7″ tablet ONLY sold in the US that according to, your lord and savior, Steve J., would never sell and is entirely to small to use. That’s not bad considering it’s only sold in one country.

      Hope that helps you realize that bragging about overall decrease in market share is nothing to brag about. Especially when you consider MS maintaining a 20 year strangle hold on “desktop” operating systems and apple can’t even hold on for one year against weak competition.

  • 8PAQ

    Intel based Windows 8 tablets will sell great because of two reasons:
    1. Intel processors are much faster than ARM. Even their one core low end Medfield Atom is beating S4 in some tests. New generation of 22nm i5 or even i3 CPUs coming this summer is several generations ahead of anything ARM.
    2. People will love that fact that millions of existing Windows Apps run on those things. So there is no worry about legacy software. Windows 8 runs Windows 7 software better than Windows 7.

  • D$

    If Windows 8 works well, Windows tablets will replace a lot of people’s laptops because they will be able to do what a tablet does and 99% of what they’d do on a laptop. My mum, who’s not at all geeky, was thinking of buying an iPad. But when I explained to her the difference between OSX and iOS and that Windows were thinking of combining the two types of OS on Windows 8, she was like “I’m waiting for that.”

    I’m feeling the same way, and even though I love my Playbook (which for my needs is far superior to the iPad), I will probably upgrade to Windows 8 when it becomes affordable -as long as Microsoft don’t mess it up.

    As for the Apple fanboys like Mr. Masarek, well… who cares what they say? I personally think Apple’s days are numbered and they’re living more on their reputation and their marketing than on cutting edge technology -just like Microsoft did for a few years. The professional community has already started giving up on Apple, as the whole Final Cut Amateur fiasco showed. As for the consumer community, they’ll soon realise that the iPhone keeps falling further and further behind to cutting edge Android phones, and the iPad will probably be overtaken technologically within a year or two too.

    • AppleFUD

      I agree with your point about many waiting for Win8 because it will do ALL they need it to do. However, all that rests upon MS doing it “right.” And that is a very big IF.

      While I would much rather dump Windows I do feel as though Android hasn’t gone far enough nor has the necessary apps for me to leave Windows behind for a full Android ecosystem thus I would have to use a Linux setup plus Android and that is very similar to apple’s way — ios + osx. . . I much prefer one unified OS ecosystem if I can have it and I think many people will feel that way, therefore, I think Win8 will drive WP adoption if Android does’t step up quickly.

    • Zurkram

      That’s the dumbest comment I’ve ever heard.

  • rdority

    I think although Windows tablets are likely to run twice the price of Android tablets, they will pack a lot more power than either Android or iPads. I think Microsoft’s touch technology is more sophisticated than that used with the iPad / iPhone / iPod. I see WP7 units cost about half as much as the iPhone. I understand iPhone still has a lot of dropped calls. I think just as soon as Windows 8 is released and some serious contenders come forward in the tablet market, there is going to be some serious competition for Apple and Android. I think people will be willing to pay more than the price required for Android, but at the same time they will be thrilled to get more for their money than with the line of Apple products. Apple has turned its back on too many customers and the word is getting out. Should be an interesting race, but I think Microsoft will come out ahead like they nearly always do!

  • Samhuddad

    I would buy one. Cause like one commenter said: people own xbox’s and windows pc’s and old and new windows phones, business and mobile business run one form of a windows operating sys. So to have a tablet then can combine or is fluid in using across a persons whole life is optimal. I have been using Win 8 for about a month now. I truly believe there gonna put a damper on Ipad sales and use. Ipad looks cool, but windows is what a lot of people and business and community’s and schools, heck the globe over use and can afford. In the end price always wins.

  • Mz

    It is worth waiting for the best product from Microsoft. I have been waiting for the release of Microsoft Office Mobile. I wish I can afford to buy it.