Biggest competition for Windows tablets? Other Windows tablets

Biggest competition for Windows tablets? Other Windows tablets

Summary: Companies producing tablets know they must compete with the iPad and with Android tablets. The strategy Microsoft has taken for upcoming Windows tablets may have the platform competing with itself.

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Microsoft knocked down the screens concealing the Windows on ARM (WOA) version of Windows 8 that will become the mobile version of the platform. While expected to power tablets specifically, we will eventually see WOA on laptops and other mobile devices. Microsoft's approach to WOA is a good one as a mobile OS needs to be built from the ground up for mobile usage. Special apps are needed to fully leverage the tablet form, and the requirement that WOA apps be written specifically for that is a good thing.

While building a true mobile platform from scratch is a good thing, making it part of the Windows family may end up creating mass confusion in the marketplace. Companies building WOA tablets may find themselves not only competing with the iPad and the army of Android tablets in the market, they may end up competing very heavily with tablets running real Windows 8.

The strategy of making Windows 8 an OS that will handle all types of computing (at least in name) will end up creating competition within the platform that will be fun to watch. Imagine ads for some whiz-bang Intel tablets running Windows 8 with its distinctive Metro interface, making fun of that ARM tablet (with the exact same interface) that "can't run all of the apps you depend on". Never mind that those apps are legacy Windows apps that don't take advantage of the tablet form, at least you can run them on this tablet over here if you want. Why restrict what you can do with that "entry-level" tablet over there when the sky's the limit with this super tablet?

See also: Windows 8 on ARM to 'include' some Office 15 apps; Windows 8 on ARM to launch simultaneously with Windows 8 on Intel; Microsoft gets it right with Windows 8 on ARM, and why Apple should be worried

This will confuse the average consumer shopping for a tablet, and will end up creating a tiered field of Windows tablets. You will have those ARM tablets that can only run special apps at the lower end of the market. Then you'll have tablets with Intel inside that can do anything you do on a desktop plus run Metro apps. This will result in public perception that WOA is Windows Lite, Intel is powerful even on tablets, and pricing will be affected.

Don't believe for a minute that consumers will pay as much for a WOA tablet with its restrictions as they will for an Intel tablet with real Windows 8. That will result in Intel tablets selling for higher prices than those little WOA things. This will backfire as expensive tablets of any ilk do not sell well in today's market. Rather than competing with the other platforms, Windows tablets will end up competing largely with other Windows tablets. Mass confusion in the market will result.

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

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  • RE: Biggest competition for Windows tablets? Other Windows tablets

    Exactly what I always thought. Windows on ARM shouldn't have been named Windows, but something like simply "Microsoft Metro" tablet.

    Then you could have the full x86/x64 Windows 8 tablet/laptop with a label saying "can run Metro applications".

    And of course, for WOA to sell, it will have to beat the iPad in price.
    lepoete73
    • RE: Biggest competition for Windows tablets? Other Windows tablets

      @lepoete73 Or indeed shouldn't exist at all, they perhaps should have created a "big screen" version of WP7 (like Apple did when they created "iOS" from what was iPhone OS).

      This is a confusing mess.
      jeremychappell
      • A bit of a warning, Jeremy

        @jeremychappell

        I can recall the anti-iPad sentiment from our pro Windows and Android ZDNet Talkback posters prior to the iPad introduction. (And, surprisingly, those sentiments were unaltered despite the mounting evidence countering their arguments for many months after the initial iPad launch.)

        What I'm saying is - let's see and read the WOA tablet reviews after those products have been introduced before jumping to conclusions.

        Personally, I believe a WOA tablet will be a fine software and hardware product. But I will wait until I actually have "hands on" experience before committing to an official POV.
        kenosha77a
      • This confuses you jeremy?

        @jeremychappell
        Are you confused when you download an iPad only app and it won't run on your iPhone?

        I'm surprised, you come across as being smarter than this.
        toddybottom_z
      • RE: Biggest competition for Windows tablets? Other Windows tablets

        @toddybottom_z

        There are not too many iPad only apps, Todd. Chances are, if the app is released for the iPad it will also be coded to run on the iPhone or iPod Touch as well. Just saying.
        kenosha77a
    • RE: Biggest competition for Windows tablets? Other Windows tablets

      @lepoete73 is should be called Windows Tablet 8 Series OS. If they???re going to have one for Desktop/laptop, one for phones, and yet another one for tablets. Name them properly, so not to confuse people.
      Joel-r
      • RE: Biggest competition for Windows tablets? Other Windows tablets

        @toddbottom if Apple making 40% is bad (according to the Windows fanboys), anything above that must be worse. Simple logic dictates that what is good (or bad) for one is good (or bad) for all. There is no it is bad for Apple to make 40% profit margins, but great for Microsoft to make 85%+ profit margins.
        Joel-r
      • RE: Biggest competition for Windows tablets? Other Windows tablets

        @Joel-r
        " if Apple making 40% is bad (according to the Windows fanboys), "

        Take that up with the Windows fanboys, if you can find any. Since you replied to ME and not a Windows fanboy, your claim that I believe 40% is bad is a strawman and a lie. It is great for Apple to make 40% profit. It is even greater for Microsoft to make 85% profit. If Apple could find a way to make 85% margins on its products, I'm sure it would love to. However, the fact is that people probably aren't willing to pay more than $1,000 for an iPad. It doesn't provide that much value. People are willing to pay hundreds of dollars for Windows though because it provides them that much value.

        Like I said, good for Apple, great for Microsoft.
        toddbottom
    • RE: Biggest competition for Windows tablets? Other Windows tablets

      @lepoete73 <br>"And of course, for WOA to sell, it will have to beat the iPad in price."<br><br>Why? Is Apple not profitable because they don't beat Dell in price? Windows doesn't beat OS X in price and yet Microsoft sells far more Windows than Apple sells OS X. It is all about value. If people feel WOA offers more value than iPad, they will pay more. If people feel the MacBook offers more value than some $400 Dell, they will pay more. People clearly feel Windows offers more value than OS X so they pay more to get the better OS.
      toddybottom_z
      • RE: Biggest competition for Windows tablets? Other Windows tablets

        @toddybottom_z How is costing three time more, beating Apple on price? Or are you saying that ripping off consumers is the best thing to do. Even if you factor in the OEM price for Windows, they are still over charging for Windows. Remember the OEMs make the computers, not Microsoft. If Microsoft made computers they would cost $5,00 to start, so Microsoft could maintain their 85%+ profit margins. Now if Microsoft can get rid of that pesky Apple, and that other pest Linux, They could go into the hardware business, and really make a killing.
        Joel-r
      • Hold on Joel-r

        "How is costing three time more, beating Apple on price? Or are you saying that ripping off consumers is the best thing to do."

        MacBook Pros cost 3 times (at least) the price of inexpensive Windows laptops and yet they sell very well. So no, you don't have to beat the competition on price in order to do well. You have to provide them with more value. Or are you saying that ripping off consumers by charging 3 times more for a MacBook Pro is the best thing to do? Even if you factor in the faster CPU, Apple is still overcharging for the MacBook Pro.

        "so Microsoft could maintain their 85%+ profit margins"

        So what is the "right" profit margin? We know that razor thin profit margins are "bad". You are now implying that 85% profit margins are bad. Let me guess, 40% profit margin is the "right" profit margin? What a coincidence that Apple makes 40% profit margin.
        toddbottom
      • RE: Biggest competition for Windows tablets? Other Windows tablets

        @toddybottom_z And there are lower spec Windows laptop that cost as much as a MacBook Pro. So you really don???t have a valid point. Microsoft charges what is considered Monopoly prices, because that can. Even with oversight, Microsoft was able to purchase the right politicians, to protect their business model. I see them starting to act more aggressively than ever before. Expect the FUD campaigns, and proxy battles to jump to a whole new level..
        Joel-r
      • RE: Biggest competition for Windows tablets? Other Windows tablets

        "Microsoft charges what is considered Monopoly prices, because that can"

        Apple charges monopoly prices for the iPad. What's your point? Why don't you come right out and say it.

        "I, Joel-r, believe that any company that makes less than 40% profit margin is bad and any company that makes more than 40% profit margin is also bad. Only Apple makes the "right" profit margin."

        The truth is that Microsoft charges what the market will bear, just like Apple does. The market will pay more for something that has more value. It is why the market pays more for MacBook Pros. It is also why the market pays more for Windows. Windows brings more value than OS X does. I'm not sure why this needs to be explained to you.
        toddbottom
      • RE: Biggest competition for Windows tablets? Other Windows tablets

        @toddbottom [q]The truth is that Microsoft charges what the market will bear, just like Apple does. The market will pay more for something that has more value. It is why the market pays more for MacBook Pros. It is also why the market pays more for Windows. Windows brings more value than OS X does. I'm not sure why this needs to be explained to you.[/q]

        Microsoft gouges customers as the side effect of being an abusive monopolist, Now that the oversight has ended expect prices to star o go up even higher. If Microsoft can gain a monopoly position in mobile, expect prices to go up on mobile devices.
        Joel-r
    • In case you haven't noticed, except for the name...

      @lepoete73: ... that's exactly what they're doing. Expect to see Windows itself start to lose its legacy apps as Metro becomes the primary OS over time. I think they've seen where Apple is going and are trying to beat Apple to the goal.
      Vulpinemac
      • I agree with the first part

        @vulpine@...
        "Expect to see Windows itself start to lose its legacy apps as Metro becomes the primary OS over time."

        Yes.
        toddbottom
      • RE: Biggest competition for Windows tablets? Other Windows tablets

        @vulpine@...

        I sure hope Metro won't become the primary OS. I'm not interested in full screen apps.

        There is a reason why it's called Windows, because applications run in windows... Full screen was DOS, I don't want to go back there.

        Full screen might be ok on tablets too, but tablets are always going to be a secondary market to me... the desktop is my world.

        If there is no window anymore, don't call it Windows.
        lepoete73
  • RE: Biggest competition for Windows tablets? Other Windows tablets

    You are looking too deep into this. A manufacturer will be selling Microsoft Windows 8 on the desktop then WOA on a mobile device like a tablet. There is going to be a clear distinction between the two. It may even work out better for Microsoft and its manufacturers because now they can have Windows everywhere. At home on the PC or on the go with the tablet. That's not competing, that is doubling the sales.
    Loverock Davidson-
    • RE: Biggest competition for Windows tablets? Other Windows tablets

      @Loverock Davidson-

      What will confuse some is that they will wonder why they can't install on the Windows 8 tablet their applications that run on their Windows 8 laptop/desktop, it's got the same interface so for most it will mean it's the same thing.

      I deal a lot with non-technical users and a lot of people get confused easily, even on current systems since Microsoft decided to pre-label most of it's application with the word "Windows" like "Windows Live Messenger", "Windows Internet Explorer"... since then I've got tons of "Windows crashed" calls when it's just an application.
      lepoete73
      • Of course it will confuse some

        @lepoete73 <br>There are plenty of people who are confused about not being able to run their OS X apps on their iPads.<br><br>Then there are many who hate all things Microsoft who will feign confusion because it serves their purposes. These are the same people who claim to get confused because they have to click the "Start" button to shut down the machine. I wonder how many Windows machines stay on forever because there are millions of people who don't know how to turn off their computers. They click on "Start" 50 times a day to run their programs and not once do they notice the "Shutdown" button. If we listen to certain ZDNet posters, we have to believe that no one can figure out this incredibly confusing UI.
        toddybottom_z