Lenovo: Is it Microsoft's Windows 8 go-to partner?

Lenovo: Is it Microsoft's Windows 8 go-to partner?

Summary: Lenovo is integrating touch into its line-up of laptops, desktops and even a tabletop PC. As Lenovo goes Windows 8 sales could follow.

TOPICS: Hardware, Lenovo, PCs

Lenovo at CES 2013 is pushing everything from ultrabooks to table PCs to convertibles. The common thread is Windows 8 and touch is everywhere.

For Lenovo, touchscreens are going to be integrated throughout most of its product line-up beginning in the first quarter and a few months beyond. The short version is that sometime around April touch will be integrated into most laptops and even a table-top PC.

In other words, Lenovo is pushing Windows 8 and touch laptop upgrades heavily. Given Lenovo is at least statistically tied as the No. 1 PC maker with HP and ahead depending on what numbers you use, Microsoft's Windows 8 push really starts in a few months.

ZDNetLenovo to split into two biz groups | Lenovo: China smartphone profit to fund emerging markets push | CNET:  Lenovo unveils the Windows 8 ThinkPad Helix | Hands on with the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2 | The unfolding of the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11s | Lenovo's sleek multitouch laptop opens up a whole new game | Lenovo's 27-inch multi-user PC

Depending on how other PC makers react, Lenovo is likely to emerge as Microsoft's most critical Windows 8 partner. Lenovo has the consumer, business and emerging market exposure that other PC players may lack.

Lenovo's tabletop PC. Credit: Rich Brown, CNET.


As noted last week, hardware is the biggest problem with Microsoft's Windows 8 launch. The OS may have a few issues, but the line-up of hardware feels decidedly 1.0. The machines coming out of CES are showing a bit more refinement.

If tech buyers play along---Lenovo could become the lead soldier for Microsoft's Windows 8 rollout. One of Lenovo's designs---the IdeaPad Yoga 11 and ThinkPad Helix---are likely to stick. The jury is out on Lenovo's 27-inch multiuser table PC.

Topics: Hardware, Lenovo, PCs

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  • It's about time...

    It's a shame these sleek devices by Lenovo and others weren't out for Christmas, but at least they're coming, and will likely help Windows 8 adoption.
    • Why are you concerned about Windows 8 adoption?

      Do you work for MS, or something?

      Use what you want to use and don't worry about who else uses it.
      John L. Ries
      • Of course it matters

        Third party companies will support a platform when it's popular.
      • Why wouldn't be be?

        There is nothing wrong with supporting a platform and hoping it succeeds. Higher adoption means developer interest and better chances for quality apps. Not everyone has to be a fan-boy to be a supporter of a platform/ecosystem.
      • Why are YOU concerned about it, John?

        Do YOU work for Apple? Or are you just a rabid Google fanboi?
        • I just get annoyed...

          ...by people who worry overmuch about how popular a particular piece of software is ("use Windows because everybody else does"). If it works for you better than the other alternatives, then use it. If not, then don't.
          John L. Ries
          • NYCMale Didn't Seem Worried to Me ...

            He made what I thought were two, valid, intelligent comments:

            1. Too bad this stuff wasn't out in time for XMas.
            2. Hardware from Lenovo may well help the adoption of Win8.

            The only person who seems worried ... or annoyed ... or in the grips of any other sort of illogical emotional response to Win8 seems to be ... you.
          • It definitely looked like rooting

            I personally don't care how many people use Windows 8 or whether it succeeds or fails, as I am neither employed by nor hold any stock in MS and I'm more of a UNIX developer than a Windows one. But as a developer, my only possible interest would be in how high a priority developing Windows 8 specific apps would be and how well my existing stuff works with it.
            John L. Ries
          • Some of us are developers

            Its good to know how well people are accepting new technology and in what space. Fir example, there are a lot of iPad users, yet there is almost no enterprise dollars going to develop iPad-specific apps. If you have an enterprise web-app, building an iPad version is simple over-kill. If you build WPF applications, its good to know the trend for adoption of Windows 8 to determine if you should port your app to Windows 8 Metro, etc. Its about making money for your dev time.
            A Gray
          • That one I'll accept

            If you're a Windows developer, then it tells you how high a priority a Metro interface is.

            If you're a user, all you really care about is whether it does what you want. To that extent, you'd want it supported by enough developers to make it worth your while, but that need not be anywhere close to a majority (as we Linux users have long known).

            Either way, it's a matter of rational decision making, not rooting, as NYCMale was doing.
            John L. Ries
          • Please let me edit

            Yes, when a user is deciding whether or not to adopt a new platform, it's also helpful to know if it's going to be around for a while, but I can't imagine MS abandoning the Metro interface any time soon after they've invested so much in it .
            John L. Ries
          • John, I work with Linux and UNIX, too, ...

            ... and I'm not a fanboi of MS or Apple or Google or Ubuntu. That being said, if NYCMale was doing any "rooting" it was simply a matter of hoping for more people to adopt Win8 stuff so the product will have more eyes on it and can be improved, lead to better products, more competition and more, and cheaper, options for the Almighty User. As a developer, you too should applaud that.
          • it didn't sound like rooting, but even if it were...

            ...so what? People root for their favorite team, even though most of them never get closer to them than the distance between the sofa and the tube. (I think it is silly, but I am in the minority...) People root for their favorite singer when watching the Grammy Awards. Same for the Oscars. Why do you even care?
          • What's with the repeated "rooting" statement?

            You seem to think that you have some kind of privileged knowledge into NYCMale's thought processes. There seems to be some bias in your assertions, and while I neither know nor care what axe you have to grind, perhaps you might want to just stop claiming to know what somebody else was thinking. Whatever NYCMale wrote that spurred you to repeatedly assert that he was "rooting" for Microsoft seems to be your issue, not his.

            I don't know why I even read this site or the comments on its stories- they're invariably full of people bashing things (and each other), apparently for sport. It's ridiculous.
            A lot of people seem driven to treat technology like a sporting event, where a team is chosen and everybody else must fail. Grow up, people. Stop emotionally investing in who makes technology and focus on the technology itself, and you might find that you have been wasting a lot of time and ire on things that are meaningless.
            No wonder average people think nerds are laughable. The things I see people write here very much are.
            Nunya Bidnez
  • How much do these new devices cost?

    Specifically: how much does the "touch" functionality add to the price tag?
  • People at Lenovo are smart

    People at Lenovo are smart and that is the reason they are investing heavily in Windows 8, because it’s the best platform for Business and consumers. Linux will stay in server market and Android won't make past the 7 inchers. Apple platform is more a fashion and is not suited for business or consumers as it offers little value for money.

    Consumers are business will slowly but surely understand the power and flexibility that Windows 8 offers and this will turn into huge commercial success for MS and its partners.
    • And how did you make this judgement?

      Must be because Lenovo is pushing Windows 8.
      John L. Ries
      • Don't underestimate Lenovo

        Their laptops and desktops may look pretty much like square black boxes (with a few recent exceptions) but they work and work well. Lenovo has built a very solid reputation as a business PC/laptop provider, one I believe is well deserved. Their gear is functional, reliable and without too much of the bling that usually comes from some other suppliers (although granted HP and Dell cut this back too on their business lines).
        Lenovo has now decided to branch out a bit and looks to be taking an all-in approach to touch-screen functionality and Windows 8.
        Like it or not, this is where business will head. Windows 7 will stay the course for many years amongst those who have recently stepped up from XP but anyone who is still to upgrade will likely make the move to Windows 8 instead. And eventually, be it Windows 8 or 9 or 10, the Windows 7 users will follow suit - and all of these will be touch enabled.
        I think people look short-sightedly at the way this all works. Touch might not be the game-changer for Windows tomorrow or the next day but Microsoft is in this game for the long term. Everyone shouts the praises of Apple and the iPad as a tool with great business potential if only people would produce the apps. But Microsoft offers the opportunity for tablets, laptops, convertibles, desktops (and even tabletops - not sure about that one) all sharing the same basic OS (yes I know RT is different from Windows 8 but the cross-over is much more than, say, iOS and OSX). As the momentum builds, what prevents:
        - UPS from rolling out tablets to drivers using an interface which is visually the same as touch screen PC's in depots and offices.
        - Hospitals developing apps for doing rounds, fully integrated with Lync but running on tablets (saw this in a ZDNet article and Microsoft video).
        - Industrial applications with mobile SCADA stations running on touchscreen tablets, same visual interface as touchscreen desktops and laptops.
        Time will tell and Microsoft has always been one to make the use of time.
        • Perhaps so...

          ...but I'm quite certain that wasn't Owl's motivation.
          John L. Ries
          • Psychic much?

            Again, you claim knowledge of other people's thought processes. How ridiculous. Seriously, John, whatever you are "quite certain" about is in your head, not based in reality. I hope that at some point you're able to separate your own perceptions from what people actually write.
            Nunya Bidnez