Windows 7 tablets with 1.5 percent market share and other Microsoft news of the week

Windows 7 tablets with 1.5 percent market share and other Microsoft news of the week

Summary: New figures on Microsoft's worldwide tablet share, coming changes to Windows 8 mouse navigation and the release of the System Center Advisor service were all in the news this week.


Here's a round-up of a few Microsoft news items I didn't have a chance to blog about earlier this week.

Windows 7 tablets with just 1.5 percent marketshare? I have to admit I almost never see Windows 7 tablets in the wild. But that might not be too surprising, given their share of the overall global tablet market market is only 1.5 percent (just like Windows Phone's share of the smartphone market). That estimate comes from Strategy Analytics -- via the SuperSite for Windows -- which claims that number is up from near zero, to about 400,000 units, as of the fourth quarter of 2011. Strategy Analytics also claims that Apple's iPad now controls 58 percent of the tablet market, compared to 39 percent market share for Android tablets (from a variety of vendors, including Amazon with the Kindle family; Asus, Samsung and more.) The $64,000 question is whether and how quickly Windows 8 tablets will be able to rev Microsoft's position here. Will Kinect be integrated into some Windows 8 PCs? Microsoft officials posted earlier this week on the "Building Windows 8" blog a post about sensors that will be integrated in Windows 8. There was no mention of Kinect, Microsoft's gesture/voice sensor that originally debuted as an add-on peripheral for Xbox consoles. (Kinect for Windows sensors and software begin shipping next week, as of February 1). But now there's a report from The Daily that Asus could be integrating Kinect technology into some of their coming Windows 8 laptops (with the Kinect sensors replacing the spot usually occupied by Webcams). I figured Microsoft wouldn't allow Kinect integration directly into PCs, at least initially, hoping to grab a little extra cash from a $250 peripheral for those who want to control their PCs with gestures/voice. As The Next Web points out, this just could be Asus doing its own sensor work in conjunction with PrimeSense. But, as with most things Win8-related, who knows...

Windows 8 Consumer Preview to provide better mouse navigation. In other Windows 8 news, word from a Microsoft communications spokesperson (via TechRadar) is that the next public build of Windows 8 -- officially known as the Consumer Preview, though it's actually what traditionally has been called a "beta" -- will improve navigation for those of us who don't have/want touch PCs. Microsoft officials showed off some improved panning using a mouse during the Windows 8 demo at the Consumer Electronics Show. But it sounds as if there could be even more navigation improvements coming for us mouse-centric users. (I'm just hoping the new navigation controls are easier to master than they sound in the TechRadar write-up.) On the down side, it sounds like Microsoft seems to have decided to prevent users from customizing the Windows 8 startup screen with their own photos because they might not look so hot. Hopefully that's not a permanent decision, but I fear it might be. System Center Advisor now available to Software Assurance licensees . The System Center Advisor -- an Azure-hosted service formerly known as codename "Atlanta" -- has been released to the Web as of this week. Yes, the rest of the System Center 2012 suite is in the Release Candidate (RC), not final phase. But in spite of its name, System Center Advisor isn't part of the eight point products in this suite. System Center advisor, is designed to help users access current and historical configuration data for their deployments, as well as make suggestions for improvements to their configurations. Windows Server and SQL Server are the first workloads to be supported.

SQL Azure Data Sync preview gets another refresh. SQL Azure Data Sync, which aims to enable customers share data between on-premises SQL Server and SQL Azure applications, as well as provide cloud-to-cloud data sync, got another refresh this week. It's still in Community Technology Preview (CTP) form, but this is the third update to the CTP since it originally was released in October 2011. The latest update provides a number of bug fixes and localizations. From a January 26 Windows Azure blog post: "The team is hard at work on future updates as we approach General Availability."

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


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).

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • RE: Windows 7 tablets with 1.5 percent market share and other Microsoft news of the week

    A 1.5% tablet market share for Windows 7 is unbelievable considering how bad this OS is with touch-based computing.
    • RE: Windows 7 tablets with 1.5 percent market share and other Microsoft news of the week

      @TheCyberKnight Very true. So could you imagine how well they may do when Windows 8 arrives.
      • RE: Windows 7 tablets with 1.5 percent market share and other Microsoft news of the week

        From what I saw with the Developer Preview, yes, it could be a game changer. Unfortunately, the price point is likely to be the single factor that could ruin the party and, unfortunately again, Microsoft has very few control on this aspect. Will OEMs actually hold the key to Windows 8 success?
    • RE: Windows 7 tablets with 1.5 percent market share and other Microsoft news of the week


      I bet you that's all sales to businesses.
      Jeff Kibuule
    • RE: Windows 7 tablets with 1.5 percent market share and other Microsoft news of the week

      @TheCyberKnight Samsung Slate is a very decent Windows 7 tablet.
      • RE: Windows 7 tablets with 1.5 percent market share and other Microsoft news of the week

        @grayknight I just got an Acer w500 and love it. Haven't picked up my iPad 2 since. You'd be surprised at how easy Win7 is on a tablet AND how refreshing it is not to have to deal with dumbed down software... REAL Office 2010!
      • Samsung slate is not...

        Sorry, I don't agree. There's a fan and this is incompatible with my definition of a tablet. Battery life must also be around 8 to 10 hours.
    • Does a tablet have to be "touch-based"?

      Is there a possibility that, there might be tablets which don't require people to touch their screens for control of their system?
      • RE: Windows 7 tablets with 1.5 percent market share and other Microsoft news of the week

        @adornoe@... It's called a LAPTOP
    • RE: Windows 7 tablets with 1.5 percent market share and other Microsoft news of the week

      For the record, I do also own an Acer W500. It came with Windows 7 and no, it is not fun to use. Windows 7 was not designed for touch. It will always remain akward to use with fingers.

      As of last September, my W500 is spinning Windows 8 and that's a whole different story.
  • First point... The article counted products shipped not sold.

    In the case of iPad you can fairly consider shipped to be sold. Android tablets not so much. Second point don't count Windows out. I can remember a time when Apple's world wide presence in desktop was under 2% and the US share not much better. So MS has a chance and there is plenty of room for another mobility player.

    Pagan jim
    James Quinn
    • Apple counts units at Apple and Best Buy stores as "sold"

      @James Quinn
      since they are not given to we'll say Best Buy, Target, ect. They are sold to these retailers.

      So Apple counts units sitting at these retailers as "sold", regardless of whether customers have bougt them.
      William Farrel
      • RE: Windows 7 tablets with 1.5 percent market share and other Microsoft news of the week

        @William Farrel
        Really? And if Best Buy continues to not move them what happens? Sent to a landfill? Returned to Apple for credit, net stocking charge? (Something which would be material as Apple reports financials.) Wouldn't Best Buy discount them? Wouldn't Best Buy just stop carrying them if their expensive display areas were merely warehouses for Apple to boost its numbers?

        Or in lieu of all these dogs not barking, maybe they do turn over, and the stock count in non-Apple stores is not material to the point.

        Now as to James Quinn's point, we don't have enough data to figure if there's any real difference between ship and sell-through, i.e., retail inventories are increasing as measured by days of supply. And if we don't know, let's assume that they are shipping them as fast as they're selling.
    • That's so last year

      My bet is that the "ship vs sold" dichotomy has become much less of a factor. Yeah, the retailers probably over-ordered the original Motorola XOOM and maybe the first models from Samsung, but they took their lumps, sent back what they had to, discounted the rest, and now know how many to order without getting stuck with excess inventory.

      No new manufacturer is going to con the purchasing guys at WalMart into stocking up on The Next Big Thing In Tablets. Those days are over.
      Robert Hahn
  • RE: Windows 7 tablets with 1.5 percent market share and other Microsoft news of the week

    tablets: 1.5% may not be bad considering these have always been premium skus like the HP EliteBook, or aimed at vertical markets (or both), or the performance of the Atom models which ranges from fair to abysmal ;-) So many tablets are convertibles, they're not always easy to spot at a distance, which is a separate discussion.

    mouse gestures; mea culpa on the description ;-) in short, every corner you click the mouse in, something useful happens. It's the Start screen rather than the startup screen (I expect that will still be a registry hack). I'm not sure why one would want a photo to be repeated as the backdrop; for almost every photo the edges won't match and only the edges won't be covered by Metro tiles. It's not like the desktop where you can peek behind the windows; the tiles are always there, always covering your photo. You can't easily change the Start Screen in Win 7, except to choose the frame colour when you choose the window frame colour (and you can tweak those colours in Metro), and we're only seeing so much of That Darned Green because we're seeing Metro screenshots. Protecting users from the Fugly; that might be a good principle for Metro ;-)
  • Don't believe the "research" firms

    Unsure how they get their information but most of the time they are dead wrong.
    • Does that mean that, all reports are wrong, including those for Apple

      and for Google or any other tech company?

      I guess then, if one were to believe your comments, that Apple is not the number one tablet on the market, and Android is not second, or that Android and iPhones are not the leaders in the smartphone arena.

      Or, are research firms only wrong when you don't like their numbers?
      • All reports should be questioned regardless if you like what you hear:P

        @adornoe@... Who did the report... Do they have a history that points to a given product or bias. The sampling and the wording of the questions in the case of polls. The methods for gathering data for reports that point to said data to make conclusions. The wording of the report for instance shipped and or sold. There is a difference.

        Pagan jim
        James Quinn
      • I agree with you, but...

        Gisabun seemed to be dismissive of the report, simply because, the report didn't agree with his take on the matter. If the report had some problems with accuracy, Gisabun didn't address them or rebut them. Being dismissive or disagreeing is not the same as having some good counter-arguments.
    • Crystal People

      They get their information by talking to people who don't know either. The Universe is rigged in such a way that humans do not know the future in advance. Yet most people will still buy "insider information" from people who claim to be gathering information about the future from other people.
      Robert Hahn