Six Clicks: Advantages of Windows 8.1 over its mobile competitors

Six Clicks: Advantages of Windows 8.1 over its mobile competitors

Summary: Say what you will about the dual personality of Windows 8.1 but there are some things it does better than the mobile competition.


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  • Microsoft decided to take on the mobile space with a frontal assault, and that's what it's done with Windows 8.1. As an OS that works on any type of PC, the company had to make sure that mobile was properly addressed as it is a hot segment.

    The problem with having a flexible OS is it tends to make mobile operation less than ideal. Devices designed to be mobile benefit from a platform that is especially designed for that.

    CNET Reviews: Tablets

    Kudos to the folks in Redmond for doing that with Windows 8.1, and for refining it as time passes to make it even better for both mobile and desktop environments.

    There are certain areas that Windows 8.1 surpasses the function of the mobile competition, specifically the iPad and Android. Macbooks are a reasonable alternative to Windows mobile devices, but the nod goes to Microsoft over iOS and Android with the six advantages presented in this collection.

    See also:

  • Mouse support

    Although virtually all mobile devices have nice touch screens, there are still a huge army of the followers of the mouse. There is no peripheral that yields such precise control over a busy interface like the mouse. You can tap the smallest control on the screen with just about every mouse out there.

    Good mouse control in Windows is an advantage over the competition. The iPad doesn’t work with a mouse at all and while Android devices can work with the mouse, the interface is not designed for it. It’s not as elegant an implementation as that in Windows.

Topics: Mobility, Android, iPad, Laptops, Tablets, Windows 8

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  • Android / iOS tablets are a waste of money.

    Android / iOS tablets are toys, spending more than $50 to buy them is silly.
    • @Owl:Net

      Are you just a poorly educated Troll incapable of making any constructive statement ?
      • @Owl:Net. You should be thrown off ZDnet for the SH1T you post...

      • As opposed to what?

        You, who appear to be you highly educated Troll
    • Toys?

      I am quite happy with the Amazon Fire I bought for 119. I use it as a media consumption only device, but the value is certainly there for that.
    • Billy Goats Gruff

      As a devoted Windows user (Surface Pros 1, 2, and 3), I find you to be an embarrassment to the cause. Your slavish drivel putting down Android and iOS FOR NO REASON diminishes the message of the good things to Windows 8.1 and the tablet/ultrabook experience you can have in that ecosystem.
      • I agree. He reminds me of Mike Cox but without the "rep"

        Definitely an MS shill. I love Windows but this is just crazy talk by Owl:Net
        • Too Random to be a shill

          This is the guy who just 2 weeks ago was all pumped about all the work he can get done on his iPad Air:

          I can appreciate JK's appreciation of all the tech alternatives available. I'm a bit like that myself, but each week it seems to be a new passion with almost no reference to the prior week's object of admiration.

          It is hard to really know where he really stands on all these alternatives, but as long as he presents the Holy Tech Grail (, Batman!) of the week on its own merits, I can play along in considering the points thus highlighted.

          Keep running, JK ;-}
          • I think he was referring to OwlNet

            and not the author.
      • dksmidtx

        Total dribble....
        • Huh

          Blogsworth or Cogsworth? Seriously, you can't be defending Owl:Net - or are you a pseudonym?
    • @Owl:Net I love Windows but this is wrong.

      Android and iOS tablets have a place. That is why people by them. Some just prefer the ecosystem. Some love the number of apps they have available.

      From all reviews (even by the Author) the competitors are good solid offerings. Some people don't need or want the 6 advantages mentioned by Kendrick. For them these are good choices. Besides, the iOS and Android offerings are far far cheaper.
  • Android

    Actually, these are the reasons I think Android and Windows are currently the only sensible choices for tablets. I don't necessarily agree that Android does all of these worse than Windows. On the other hand there are some advantages of Windows which are more relevant to me than some of the above:

    . Best multi window support.
    - Best printer support.
    - Best peripheral support (gamepad, joystick, wired keyboard, printers, usb sdcard reader, usb ethernet, etc)
    • Win 8.1

      Although I like Android, the underlying Power of Windows is ultimately what I need. Join to Domains, computer policies, ability to run full brown software suites, countless peripheral support. I often say Android and iOS are toys, but I mean that in a positive way just like I would say XBox is a toy. A Windows Tablet just has no limits.
      Sean Foley
      • A Windows Tablet just has no limits !?

        The ones out are to large for 2 be portable ! and they can in no way replace a cad/advanced math/scientific analysis/programming workbench.

        "I often say Android and iOS are toys" all tablets and laptops are limited in usage
        ability, and are more or less toys for a so called Power user.

        Just to operate some of those apps on a touch screen needs a 2 by 4 meter display
        and a lot of gymnastics.
        • Just want 2 add

          some about the fantastic novelty, "tiles" as all icons always have been tiles, with the enhancement of adding transparent zones though . . . . . . . .
        • Too large?

          Are we talking screen size? Weight? Depth?
          Michael Alan Goff
        • I think you missed the point of the discussion being about mobile devices.

          You bring up examples of high end desktop work stations with 4 meter displays isn't exactly on topic. I think most understood the context of the "no limits" comment you are disputing, but I will put it another way. Windows tablets do not suffer from all te limitations that tablets running a mobile operating system are stuck with and they offer greater freedom and functionality. For many people they can effectively be their only consumption and productivity device.

          Second, there are many options of windows tablets that are relatively sized to iPads and Android tablets and those are considered perfectly portable. for example I have an Asus note 8 and it fits in my back pocket just fine.
          • Suffer from all the limitations?

            "Windows tablets do not suffer from all te limitations that tablets running a mobile operating system are stuck with"

            Really, what percentage of the population cares? You are speaking about a niche of a niche segment of users that are willing to put up with internal fans that runs hot, and extra large 12" Surface display and Windows.

            The overwhelming majority of tablet users don't see their tablets (running phone OS) as being limited, they see it as an advantage. They're not "stuck" with the compromises of a hybrid device, where it is usually too big for ideal portable tablet use and too small for serious productivity use. They are choosing the best tools for the job/use case. A Swiss Army knife can do lots of things in a pinch, but does not mean it does it great or it's the best tools for the job. That's the Surface products and hybrids in general.