The release of Windows 8 will give Microsoft the chance to attack the tablet market that Android and Apple have basically owned for long.
When the final versions arrive in October, it will finally give Microsoft a leg up into the tablet market. That might take a bite out of the market share Android has managed to scratch out in tablets. It could also offer an attractive alternative to pricier iPads.
But the new line of Windows 8-based tablets might see its biggest impact on the larger use of tablets in the workplace. As more consumers adopt tablets to supplement or replace their notebook computers, they bring them into the work environment. That has put pressure on enterprise IT to find better ways to use tablets at work.
Specialized industries such as inventory control and healthcare have more successfully integrated tablets into their operations. But these dedicated devices do not necessarily display a recognizable Android or iOS face. Most mainstream enterprise relies on Microsoft’s Active Directory as a back-end on their corporate networks.
Integrating non-Windows platform use into enterprise often involves costly third-party solutions. Microsoft’s introduction of Windows 8 on PCs and tablets could be a game-changer.
Windows 8 on tablets may arrive just in time to deter some buyers from supporting Android and Apple tablet sales. For example, IDC now calls for global tablet shipments to reach 106.1 million units this year. That revised forecast is up from earlier expectations of 87.7 million units.
Consumer interest in using tablets to host e-reader apps contributed to the increased tablet sales. It is this market segment that contributed to the boost in Android tablet devices, according to the IDC analysis.
Windows 8-powered tablets could bring ready-made solutions to enterprises and consumer needs alike. Tablets could be less costly to deploy than laptop computers. And IT departments would have a more seamless integration than Android now offers.
Microsoft can avoid the fragmentation and other performance troubles that Google has had with the Android devices, he contended. With a Windows 8 tablet, businesses will not have to worry about who the provider is.