Windows 8 vs. Android tablets: Which one has the edge? Try neither

Windows 8 vs. Android tablets: Which one has the edge? Try neither

Summary: ARM Holdings CEO says that Microsoft has an edge with its upcoming Windows 8 tablets over Android. Oh really?

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ARM Holdings CEO Warren East says tech observers should give Android tablets more time to gain traction in the market. However, he also notes that Microsoft may have a branding edge with Windows 8 tablets.

That face-off is worth noting. Brooke Crothers at CNET News highlights East's comments. The gist is that East thinks Microsoft could have a branding advantage with ARM-based tablets. He was asked about why consumers would buy Windows 8 tablets when they don't really want Android-based versions.

Here's what East said in full from a transcript of an earnings conference call.

On Windows 8 and Android, a few factors to consider, I think. Android tablet shipping in 2011 has been described by some as you've described it. However, I'd say actually when Android phones were introduced, they took off. There was a lot of hype and then actually they didn't take off in the sort of way that reflected that hype. And then a few years later, two years later, we're seeing Android phones shipping at 0.5m units a day, 700,000 units a day and continuing to ramp and really be a very successful product. So I think we should give the Android tablets a little bit more time.

And the second point to note is of course that consumers are very familiar with Microsoft and very familiar with Windows and they're less familiar with an Android environment. So I think Microsoft have an awareness advantage with consumers that the Android folks didn't have. Now it's up to Microsoft exactly how well they're going to exploit that advantage, but I think that's a fundamental difference.

In a nutshell, East is trying to keep two partners happy. He has to say Android tablets will catch on. The natural follow-up question for East boils down to this:

How much time should we give those Android tablets?

You also can't take East's Windows 8 tablet comments all that seriously either. East argues that Windows 8 has a brand advantage due to familiarity. The catch is that Windows 8 is totally new. You could rebrand it non-Windows. The other thread to ponder is whether Windows is a valuable brand for a mobile device. Windows Phone hasn't gained a lot of traction. How will tablets change that equation? Office integration may be the differentiator, but the Windows brand won't be.

East's comments are notable, but a hefty dose of salt may be required.

Topics: Hardware, Android, Tablets, Software, Operating Systems, Mobility, Microsoft, Laptops, Google, Windows

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106 comments
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  • RE: Windows 8 vs. Android tablets: Which one has the edge? Try neither

    I for one am waiting for a Windows 8 tablet but I am also loving a Windows Phone and the Metro UI.
    Compared to the haphazard Android environment or the stodgy iOS UI, metro intrduces a breath of fresh air.
    jatbains
    • RE: Windows 8 vs. Android tablets: Which one has the edge? Try neither

      @jatbains
      same here, waiting for Windows 8 tablet and one happy users of Windows Phone
      ninjacut
      • RE: Windows 8 vs. Android tablets: Which one has the edge? Try neither

        Larry Dignan is grasping at straws. The only thing that Windows 8 needs to have from day 1 on ARM is a version of Office that is not too far behind the Intel version. If they can deliver on that, Android tablets will be toast. I do have an Asus transformer and I think it's a great tablet, but I am looking forward to Windows 8 tablets. Hopefully MS won't screw up with this.
        markbn
      • RE: Windows 8 vs. Android tablets: Which one has the edge? Try neither

        @ninjacut
        A Windows 8 tablet is really the only tablet worth owning. Why buy a crippled "post-PC" device when you can have your cake and eat it, too?
        x I'm tc
      • RE: Windows 8 vs. Android tablets: Which one has the edge? Try neither

        @jdakula
        And how would you know that? We haven't really seen any yet.
        ScorpioBlue
    • RE: Windows 8 vs. Android tablets: Which one has the edge? Try neither

      @jatbains I think there is a double edged sword with brand recognition, for every person that will buy Windows 8 foolishly on name alone; there will be one that is resentful of the Windows monopoly and will be loath to get on the same boat again. I also doubt that Windows 8 will be able to preserve full windows functionality and still match Android on battery life - ARM or not.
      Socratesfoot
      • RE: Windows 8 vs. Android tablets: Which one has the edge? Try neither

        @Socratesfoot You mean with 90% OS marketshare, that for every 9 people who buy a Windows device, there will be one that is resentful of the Windows monopoly and will be loath to get on the same boat again.
        dazzlingd
      • dazzlingd, no, Socratesfoot claims it's one to one. Which proves....

        @Socratesfoot is delusional. if you live in ZDnet forums you may find a one to one like windows/hate windows relationship, but in the real world it's far from that.
        People are hungry for a tablet that doesn't break the bank. Android has not provided that and the reviews for most all Android tablets are horrible.
        We'll have to see about Win8 but I think it's safe to say that in the world above ground, it's not a one to one like windows/hate windows relationship.
        Windows 7 outsold the entire Linux and Mac marketshare during it's pre-sale days. So let's be realistic.
        Windows phone has had a problem because they've not had good phones for one, but now AT&T and others are on board and we are seeing great windows phones. Developers are defecting the Android fragmentation mess for Windows and there is much upside to be had obviously. Microsoft will win that segment. Just like they had to win back the PC segment after Vista, which was/is a good OS was trashed by the Apple leaning media from day one, ZDnet being one of the main contributors with outright purposely misleading story headlines and a focus on it, while Leopard was going through the very same issues, if not worse. That amazes me. And of course Linux was still struggling and not a bit better than Vista during that period.
        the ABM sentiment leaked into the mainstream but I think the venom has quickly died off, esp. after MS proved to have the best and fastest selling PC OS in history as a followup.
        Win 8 will do the same.

        Oh, for those of you sick of Google owning your life's story and ridding yourselves of Google, be sure to check task scheduler and delete the Google tasks there. Even if you delete every bit of Google from your PC, those Google tasks will still be there and will still be running w/o error somehow.
        hmmm? That has been my experience on multiple machiens anyway.
        xuniL_z
      • RE: Windows 8 vs. Android tablets: Which one has the edge? Try neither

        @Socratesfoot And how many blindly buy Apple or Droid products by their name or reputation alone?
        krustykanuck
      • RE: Windows 8 vs. Android tablets: Which one has the edge? Try neither

        @Socratesfoot
        Windows monopoly is a fairy tale in the minds of techies not consumers!!!
        eargasm
      • RE: Windows 8 vs. Android tablets: Which one has the edge? Try neither

        @xuniL_z

        [I]People are hungry for a tablet that doesn't break the bank.[/I]

        Then a Windows 8 tablet will be out of the equation. Microsoft and manufacturers will continue to believe there's value in Windows on mobile devices like tablets, and therefore will feel that the $800 price tag is justified. They will be mistaken.
        dave95.
      • RE: Windows 8 vs. Android tablets: Which one has the edge? Try neither

        Delete
        dave95.
      • RE: Windows 8 vs. Android tablets: Which one has the edge? Try neither

        Delete
        dave95.
      • RE: Windows 8 vs. Android tablets: Which one has the edge? Try neither

        Delete
        dave95.
      • RE: Windows 8 vs. Android tablets: Which one has the edge? Try neither

        Delete
        dave95.
      • RE: Windows 8 vs. Android tablets: Which one has the edge? Try neither

        [i]@Socratesfoot You mean with 90% OS marketshare, that for every 9 people who buy a Windows device, there will be one that is resentful of the Windows monopoly and will be loath to get on the same boat again.[/i]

        Yes the 90% monopoly where Microsoft makes those choices for them ahead of time. Where the OEMs are nothing more than proprietary extensions of MS in everything except in name only.
        ScorpioBlue
      • RE: Windows 8 vs. Android tablets: Which one has the edge? Try neither

        @Socratesfoot

        "for every person that will buy Windows 8 foolishly on name alone; there will be one that is resentful of the Windows monopoly"

        Not even close. More like 1 to 100. (Just like the desktop.)
        NoAxToGrind
    • RE: Windows 8 vs. Android tablets: Which one has the edge? Try neither

      @Larry Dignan: Windows Phone isn't Windows, the constant comparison is ridiculous. Windows on tablets will be Windows, when you go from Metro to Desktop anyway.

      Plenty of people now know Android too. So that point from East is meaningless. I'd rather have an Android tablet to Windows tablet, likewise I'd rather have a Windows laptop to Android (or Mac OS X) laptop.
      bradavon
    • RE: Windows 8 vs. Android tablets: Which one has the edge? Try neither

      @jatbains

      Yep I can purchase a toy that I might be able to do some work on or I can get a computer wiht Windows. Really no choice at all ;-)
      tonymcs@...
      • RE: Windows 8 vs. Android tablets: Which one has the edge? Try neither

        @tonymcs@...
        And IE browser so I can write wiht, not with and not notice. Good job.
        kirovs@...