Consumers' interest in Windows tablets plummets, study claims

Consumers' interest in Windows tablets plummets, study claims

Summary: Users' interest in Windows tablets is waning and Microsoft has missed the peak of consumer desire for a Windows 8-based iPad competitor, a new study claims.

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Just a couple months after one study claimed the majority of tabet-buying users wanted a device based on Windows, another research outfit is reporting that consumers are sick of waiting for a true iPad competitor from Microsoft.

Consumers' interest in buying a Windows tablet has plummeted in the past six months, according to a new Forrester Research report on November 29.

"Microsoft has missed the peak of consumer desire for a product they haven't yet released," said Forrester in a new blog post.

In Q1 of this year, when Forrester asked consumers considering buying a tablet which operating system they would prefer on the device, 46 percent said Microsoft/Windows. Now that number has now dropped to 25% -- a decline Forrester said should be "alarming to Microsoft."

(click on table above to enlarge)

(Forrester's latest data comes from recontacting in September 2011 roughly 2,300 U.S. online consumers who are "not opposed"to buying a tablet" as part of its "North American Technographics Telecom And Devices Online Survey.")

"For tablets, though, Windows really isn’t a fast follower. Rather it’s (at best) a fifth-mover after iPad, Android tablets like the Samsung Galaxy Tab, HP’s now-defunct webOS tablet, and the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet," said Forrester analysts JP Gownder and Sarah Rotman Epps.

"While Windows’ product strategists can learn from these products, other players have come a long way in executing and refining their products — Apple, Samsung, and others have already launched second-generation products and will likely be into their third generation by the time Windows 8 launches," Gownder and Rotman Epps added.

Microsoft is taking too long to bring a true iPad competitor to market, the analysts said. (Windows 8 tablets are expected to come to market starting in the fall of 2012 by many Microsoft watchers.)

But the slow development and delivery schedule isn't Microsoft's only problem, Forrester opined. The analysts also cited the iPad's move into office productivity, consumer interest in Android tablets and the level of OEM support for Windows tablets as other factors which may be affecting consumer interest.

The Forrester analysts advised Microsoft to differentiate itself from iPads and Android tablets by focusing more on office productivity and gaming.

Forrester has been -- and continues to be -- fairly bullish about Microsoft's Windows 8 strategy. But I have to agree with their latest take to at least some degree.

I think Microsoft overestimated how much uptake there would be with Windows 7-based tablets. The Redmondians seemed to believe that business users would prefer the ability to run legacy apps (especially Microsoft Office) would save their bacon and tried to get their sales force to emphasize the enterprise shortcomings (like lack of security) of the iPad when selling against it. Windows 7 wasn't a touch-centric operating system and Windows tablets to date have been pricey, heavy and lacking good battery life.

Will users be willing to wait until later next year for Windows 8 tablets? Or should (and could) and Microsoft and its PC partners start playing up some of the new tablet form factors coming to market in the coming months as "Windows 8 ready" to grab users who aren't willing to wait for holiday 2012 for a Windows tablet?

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

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • RE: Consumers' interest in Windows tablets plummets, study claims

    Windows 8 = failed
    Randalllind
    • RE: Consumers' interest in Windows tablets plummets, study claims

      @Randalllind

      You got it. When people have a choice or feel that they have a choice they don't choose Windows or Microsoft.
      itguy10
      • RE: Consumers' interest in Windows tablets plummets, study claims

        @itguy10 i misread that and now I am editing this. oops
        asherrna
      • RE: Consumers' interest in Windows tablets plummets, study claims

        @itguy10
        Hey... Microsoft gave us a choice ten years ago. They gave us the Windows tablet amidst much hype and hoopla... and guess what??? The buying public had little interest in it. I know, I actually owned three Windows tablets but I rarely met anyone else who owned one.
        Now I own an iPad and it does everything Microsoft's best effort couldn't.
        I speak for many people when I say that a Windows 8 tablet offers little more than a big yawn. What good is it? What will it's big advantage be over the little Windows 7 tablet I have that's basically gathering dust?

        This is not 2001. It's time to move forward. Windows had it's chance. Time to let the true innovators move us in directions Microsoft failed to see.
        camcost@...
      • RE: Consumers' interest in Windows tablets plummets, study claims

        @itguy10 Hmmm.... Windows 8 is not even out yet. Where was the choice? I think you missed the part about people simply being tired of waiting for Windows 8 tablets.
        happyharry_z
      • RE: Consumers' interest in Windows tablets plummets, study claims

        [i]@itguy10 Hmmm.... Windows 8 is not even out yet. Where was the choice?[/i]

        I think that IS his point. Where is the choice.

        [i]I think you missed the part about people simply being tired of waiting for Windows 8 tablets.[/i]

        And that's supposed to be a good thing? For me, it is. :)
        ScorpioBlue
      • RE: Consumers' interest in Windows tablets plummets, study claims

        @Randalllind "... Many people - when they have a choice - don't choose Apple, either. ..."<br>M.
        mmo_z
    • RE: Consumers' interest in Windows tablets plummets, study claims

      @Randalllind I don't know about other consumers choice but my favorite tablet http://www.technologyfazer.com/asus-transformer-android-tablet.html
      nomikhokher
    • RE: Consumers' interest in Windows tablets plummets, study claims

      @Randalllind - I would not say "failed" just yet. Microsoft has a history of entering markets late (remember Napster?) and then finding a way to dominate. I'm not saying it will happen here but you never know.
      ryork272
      • RE: Consumers' interest in Windows tablets plummets, study claims

        @ryork272
        Considering their legal team is about as big as their research team, I wouldn't doubt it.

        I also wouldn't doubt they'll be in the DOJ's crosshairs again.
        ScorpioBlue
      • RE: Consumers' interest in Windows tablets plummets, study claims

        @ryork272
        Perhaps but, their record against Apple in this situation is not pretty.
        Zune vs iPod
        Windows Phone vs iPhone
        Apple has dominated MS in the mobile arena and I don't think the W8 Pad will change that record.
        KBabcock75
    • RE: Consumers' interest in Windows tablets plummets, study claims

      This story is based on a falacy. They announced that they were on the horizon, interest peaks. Then no new word during dev, interest wanes (as it should) then when they come out, interest will peak again. Unless people are, as I suspect, on a subconcious hate/love/hate/love pattern for MS Operating Systems, then they'll have to release their new version (8) then some refined one (8+).

      But having a COMPLETELY FREE (as in speech) tablet to do what I would like would be a dream!
      @...
      • RE: Consumers' interest in Windows tablets plummets, study claims

        @shane@... I think you are right on the money, Shane. In both cases.

        I know folk are having fun MS bashing but its really all about availability. The clue is in the stat that fully one quarter of respondents didn't know what an OS is.

        I think the MS haters don't have the numbers outside tech forums so once the product is released and the hype kicks in, the market place will be there. Add to that the tendency of Apple to price at the top end of the market and I think there will be plenty of room.
        petermcc@...
      • RE: Consumers' interest in Windows tablets plummets, study claims

        @ryork272...

        Don't forget that after all teh hype and chat, that Android actuallys outsells iOS two to one.

        So if MS is no good because Apple "dominate" MS, then is Apple "no good" now too?

        The point here is that all these devices appeal to different people so the respective companies can make money. When looking at "how good" a device or tablet ir, the first question is "what do i need to DO with it?" !!

        J.
        JamesRatcliff
    • RE: Consumers' interest in Windows tablets plummets, study claims

      Microsoft has finally gotten around to rounding off the square wheels on its' Windows freight train with the refinements and innovations (???!!!) within Windows 8. I truly believe that companies like Asus & Samsung along with the larger manufacturers will build sleek, slick-looking tablets that deliver on the promise of enhanced functionality & performance; Once a few positive reviews are posted, consumers & enterprise buyers will have much more than a passing curiosity in them.

      It's taken the better part of 2 decades for the MS Windows freight train to pick up steam, getting on a track that will actually take users where they want to go and smile upon arrival. Despite countless detractors, the computing world has more than just "gotten by" with Windows- It's been the cornerstone of a digital revolution that has forever changed the way we live and do business. Don't be surprised if the freight train turns into a Bullet Train. Microsoft will by no means go quietly into the digital darkness.
      gcapp99@...
      • RE: ...better part of 2 decades for the MS Windows freight train...

        @gcapp99@...

        And all it takes is one mishap, and the whole `train` gets derailed.
        fatman65536
      • RE: Consumers' interest in Windows tablets plummets, study claims

        @gcapp99@...
        You're right the MS freight train is finally on a roll....unfortunately there competitors are now traveling by jet!
        KBabcock75
      • RE: Consumers' interest in Windows tablets plummets, study claims

        @gcapp99@... I think you and petermcc are overlooking the big picture here. Sure a lot of consumers have no idea what an operating system is but---on the other hand----they sure know what an ipad is whether they own one or not. One of the problems with MS very delayed entry into the tablet market is the fact that they have lost what some would call the ???fear and familiarity??? factor. For the better part of the past 25 years people bought Windows computers because a) that was pretty much what was available or b) they wanted something they were familiar with and feared trying something else. From the early 90???s until the early to mid 2000???s (following the return of Jobs to Apple) there was no real competition for MS in both the consumer and enterprise sectors (still the case today in enterprise by and large). However, with Apple and various Android tablets getting the jump on MS most potential tablet consumers are aware of the ipad---many probably know someone who has one---some have maybe played around with one at a friend???s or family member???s home and when they decide to buy a tablet in most cases that is what they are going to get. The Fear and Familiarly factor does not come into play. For many people ipad has become synonymous with tablet almost in a generic sense---as for many years Windows PC meant ???computer??? to consumers. I just don???t think MS can leverage their long dominance of the platform this time to succeed in tablets. Plus, most people who own ipads--or some versions of an Android tablet----use it strictly as a secondary, mobile device for browsing, email, looking at photos and videos, etc when they are out somewhere or in bed or wherever; they use their laptop or desktop--be it Windows or OS X or Linux---for processor intensive work and things that require more advanced applications. They don???t need Office and other heavy duty apps that drain battery life and might be more expensive. They use their main computer for those kinds of tasks.
        zurich1900
    • RE: Consumers' interest in Windows tablets plummets, study claims

      @Randalllind You will be proven wrong. Only the Micr0$uck$ LoseDoze Operating System (O/S) will allow tablets to install the internet and browse the web and point and click and cut and paste and multitask and do all of the things that are so DIFFICULT it outright IMPOSSIBLE to do with any other tablet!
      HackerJ
  • Master Joe Says...Honestly

    To be honest, I have little interest in a windows 7 tablet. But, give me a windows 8 powered, metro style tablet, with decent hardware, and I'd be first in line.

    --Master Joe
    SteelCityPC