Microsoft faces Windows 8 trouble if it fails to ship in October

Microsoft faces Windows 8 trouble if it fails to ship in October

Summary: Microsoft has October, and October only to ship out Windows 8. If it misses its time frame, it will likely be slammed by its rivals, and have nothing to ship in 2012.

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Microsoft is setting the stage for an October launch of its next-generation operating system, Windows 8, reports Bloomberg. If it doesn't take October by storm, Microsoft could lose out to the competing market.

A part-desktop, part-tablet based operating system, it will launch on Intel and ARM technology, but at a poor ratio with five ARM devices at its debut, compared to more than 40 Intel devices.

The timing is crucial for Microsoft, however. There is just enough of a gap between the new iPad launching no less than seven months after it was launched in May, and sales will be invariably higher for the Christmas holiday season.

Gartner analyst Michael Gartenberg warns Microsoft of getting the time frame just right:

"If they miss the September-October time frame, they’re going to be stuck without being able to ship anything in 2012."

"The last thing Microsoft wants to have is a situation where there are no compelling Windows tablets at a time when the new iPad looks like it’s going to be a good seller for the holidays."

It's a mighty fine point, and timing is everything for Microsoft.

Any less than September and it runs the risk of backdraft from the iPad. With Android's next iteration, dubbed "Jelly Bean" and slated for a fall 2012 release, Microsoft could also face difficulty with consumers and business users wanting an established Android operating system over Windows.

Windows may be the core for business productivity over the years, but for tablets the market has yet to be fully tested. Windows 8 is a game changer or a deal breaker, and it's not clear which one it is yet.

There is all but no doubt that Microsoft will play its chances at the market, but Windows 8 tablets should not be compared to the popularity of the iPad. More than 103 million tablets will be sold this year, rising to 326 million in 2015, according to Gartner. If Apple retains its two-thirds market share lead, Microsoft's venture into tablet computing will all but seem like a failure, even if it generates hundreds of millions in revenue.

ZDNet's Ed Bott sees the general availability of Windows 8 being made available by October. Let's hope he's right, otherwise Microsoft could be stuck between a rock and a hard place. Or, at least in this case, an iPad and an Android crowd.

Image credit: Microsoft.

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Topics: Operating Systems, CXO, IT Priorities, Microsoft, Software, Windows

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116 comments
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  • so

    If they fail to ship in October, they cant ship in November? I miss how that is possible.
    danjames2012
    • so

      I think it is because if the ship doesn't mean manufacturing has anything to deliver, shipping in MS is giving the bits to manufacturing.

      If manufacturing doesn't get the bits until Nov, there won't be devices ready for Christmas season.
      TGGR
      • Also...

        I believe October & November are when most of the Christmas shopping is done, especially November. So, hitting the October mark in time for the holiday shopping sprees is very important.
        WarhavenSC
    • Let's put it this way

      If they ship it too soon half-assed the way it is, they'll be in bigger trouble.
      ScorpioBlack
    • Products that are going to be prominent in Christmas shopping season

      are usually put into the pipeline in August, or September at the latest. So yeah, November's a bit late.
      Mac_PC_FenceSitter
  • Win 8 is already Fail

    Doesn't matter when they ship....
    itguy10
    • Au contraire

      Windows 8, even in Beta, is vastly superior to iOS. I'm looking forward to dumping my iPad for a Windows 8 tablet this fall :)
      jasongw
      • That is...

        ...if you really owned an iPad in the first place. ;)

        Trying to boost sales later on in the year?
        ScorpioBlack
      • great

        great same here
        augustus.rome
      • M$ Liars Stink

        I just HATE that. M$ liars claiming they'll 'dump' a product they don't even own.
        Pathetic.
        I have many friends that own iPads. I ask every one, "So, whatdya think?" and I get the same reply every time. "I love it."
        M$ Liars sucks.
        Neil2112
  • Microsoft faces Windows 8 trouble if it fails to ship in October

    Sounds like a scare tactic from Gartner. I really don't see Microsoft being in danger even if they don't ship in October. As long as they announce something people will hold off on the iPad and wait for a Microsoft Windows 8 tablet. I know that's what I would do if I was in the tablet market.
    Loverock Davidson-
    • Hold off?

      I think you're right, if they miss October, it won't hurt sales since there aren't many waiting for it anyway. On the other hand if they don't get it out by November they could miss the all-important "Post-Christmas Dissapointment/Return to Store to Exchange for an iPad" Season!
      tfmeehan2@...
    • Your kidding right?

      Apple announced this morning that they sold over 3 million new iPads this past weekend. Doesn't look to me like anyone is holding off. MS missed this boat, about a year ago.
      eye4bear
      • Not really

        While the iPad is an undeniable success (I own one, mediocre device that it is), to claim that the boat has been missed is just plain silly. The worldwide market for tablets is in the BILLIONS of units. iPad sales still haven't hit 100 million units in total yet.

        Long story short: this market is just getting started, and it's anybody's game to win :)
        jasongw
      • In that respect

        Does that mean anybody who bought a tablet later than a year ago missed the boat. People are always going to buy computers and tablets for years and years. No one has missed the boat.
        Blogsworth
      • People don't know it

        We are in the IT world, we know of stuff coming months ahead of release, but most of the population don't have a clue that Microsoft is coming with a tablet this year, most don't even know MS is readying a new version of Windows.

        So how can people be holding off for something they don't even know is coming? Talk to people on the street and you will see.
        lepoete73
    • hmmmm

      Microsoft's Win 8 strategy is flawless except for one small detail

      Windows 8 is utter bollocks, the kin failed, then they tried this dumb interface on windows phone and it has failed badly too, now they will put it on tablets and it will fail there too.

      People are turning away from microsofts bug ridded malware now there are better alternatives in the marketplace.

      "As long as they announce something people will hold off on the iPad "

      Are people still falling for Microsoft old vapour-ware tactics in 2012 ??????
      DejaVu2
      • Come now Gary

        do you REALLY think people look at what you say seriouslly?

        Got kicked off of Sesame Street again?
        William Farrel
      • Seriously?

        I don't think anyone takes you seriously.

        Care to toss out a truckload of OEM's who are showing off their "Built for W8" wares? That's the worrying thing for Microsoft imho. Up until now there's been a fairly happy dappy bunch of OEM's out there pimping for Microsoft. Oddly absent so far for W8.
        ego.sum.stig
      • Nothing is more

        Dumbed down than Apple matey. They are more like very high priced Fisher Price toys.
        Blogsworth