Could Windows 8 tablets arrive too late to matter?

May 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!

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