Will hybrid notebooks save Windows 8?

Will hybrid notebooks save Windows 8?

Summary: Will $1,500 hybrid notebooks save Windows 8? Of course not. Even $600 hybrid notebooks might not.

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TOPICS: Windows 8, Apple, Tablets
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In a recent post, my ZDNet colleague Ed Bott asked if the tablet-notebook hybrid can save Windows 8. It's an astonishing question because two of the three hybrids he reviewed were priced at over $1,500.

The over-$1,000 market is not a volume Windows market. Apple owns over 70 percent of the over $1,000 notebook market, and as PC sales start declining, Apple owns even more of that market.

That's why Ed's question is so astonishing. Windows 8 cannot be saved with notebooks that cost over $1,000 because there simply aren't enough of them sold, or enough of a market to "save" W8.

Winning over consumers

For Windows to remain a viable consumer platform — not only a business tool — vendors have to find a way to meet the requirements of the market they have created. And that market wants cheap hardware.

But there's hope in the form of the HP Envy X2. While the machine is slow and under-configured, it does a couple of things very well: terrific battery life and it only costs $700. If Windows has a future as a consumer platform, it will be with machines like the HP Envy.

The problem is that, today, even not too demanding consumers will likely see that the machine is slow and unresponsive. They've been spoiled by fast iPad and Android tablets.

PCs — including Macs — overshot consumer needs about 10 years ago, which explains why XP is still common. PCs are too hard to use and manage for most people — which is why tablets are so popular.

The Storage Bits take

I'm encouraged by the creativity of the industrial design in the units Ed chose to review. While none of these machines will be very successful, Moore's Law will help their successors.

However, Intel's more powerful processors may not be enough. The PC's ever-expanding volumes drove the lower prices. But as volumes decline, the ability of vendors to invest to lower costs even more will also decline.

We're looking at the long-term stagnation of the PC market. Thank goodness we have smartphones and tablets driving innovation today.

Stagnation isn't the worst fate for PCs, but the PC market going forward will be a lot different than what we've been used to for the last 30 years.

Comments are welcome, of course.

Topics: Windows 8, Apple, Tablets

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85 comments
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  • Yah ....RIGHT

    When the swallows come back to Capistrano
    Over and Out
    • You do know that the swallows come back every year, right?

      You made the same mistake as toddybottom007 made when he used that phrase.
      William Farrel
      • The swallows have been awol for years.

        They haven't come back to Capistrano in a very long time.
        laequis
        • Much Like MS Technology

          Farrel is out of touch with reality.
          Gr8Music
        • Wrong. They come back every year. It's part of their migration path....

          The numbers have diminished as progress and growth have occurred but they still stop their on there on their journey.
          xuniL_z
    • The ZDNet Talkback Theorem

      A Microsoft OS's success will be directly proportional to the amount of posts from the anti MS crowd bashing said OS.
      If we look at Vista, which is NT 6 (Win7 is NT 6) we'll see this holds true.
      xuniL_z
  • Will hybrid notebooks save Windows 8?

    You are about 3 weeks behind with this. All the other ZDNet blogger did their "Save Windows 8?" blogs a few weeks ago.

    Since this blog is the same as the others I'll give you the same answer. Microsoft Windows 8 does not need to be saved. It has sold over 60 million licenses. A quick trip to Best Buy showed no less than 7 people using and testing Microsoft Windows 8 computers and none trying the competition. I'd really like to know where ZDNet thinks Microsoft Windows 8 needs saving. Did management send out the email to you writers asking to do this?

    "They've been spoiled by fast iPad and Android tablets."
    I'm seeing less and less tablets and more notebooks. People are realizing tablets just don't get the job done.
    Loverock-Davidson
    • Not all tablets are created equally

      "I'm seeing less and less tablets and more notebooks. People are realizing tablets just don't get the job done."

      My 128 GB Surface Pro significantly overfulfills its quota of getting the job done.
      Sir Name
    • There is an explanation for that

      Your eyesight is failing, that it you don't get out much
      ego.sum.stig
      • leave it to zkiwi, ego.sum.stig, et al to attack someone who simply

        posted that his windows 8 professional tablet is getting the job done.
        You are proving the fact that only ABM zealots are posting trash talk about win8 and it's obviuosly out of jeaslousy and fear of another Microsoft hit.
        Funny how "horrible" MSFT is doing, yet they continue to break earnings records.
        If you keep up these posts, some day, just maybe, when you are old and gray, there could be some small part of it actually happen, but we all know that is highly doubtful and the MSFT reign will continue over at least the next 50 years.
        xuniL_z
    • Loverock-Davidson 60 million OEM liences SOLD and

      59,750,000 still sitting on the shelf because retailers are cancelling their orders.
      Over and Out
      • ExitStageRight.....supporting data?

        Or are you under the delusion that when people see you post, they will be assured that the Lord of ZDNet has spoken and it is therefore so?

        there has to be a reason people like you come to these windows blogs, even though you clearly think the product it $hit. Do you frequently watch television shows you hate and go to concerts of bands you can't stand? What a messed up existence you are maintaining.
        Do you get some kind of jollies out of posting these things? Seriously, what is your purpose other than proving you have no professional connection to IT nor an objective bone in your body.
        Hurry on to the next Windows 8 blog now....this must be really getting you off. Every day you get to wake up in the basement and get on zdnet to post the SOS all over again with a crazed look on your face and drool running down over your chin.
        xuniL_z
    • Re: It has sold over 60 million licenses

      That was two months ago, it doesn't seem to have sold any more since then.
      ldo17
    • Please read the fine print...

      Loverock-Davidson... I know everybody says you're a troll and people should not comment on your post, 'cause you're all Microsoft, and stuff like that... but whatever.... let me enlighten you...

      First, Windows Vista sold more than 200 million copies world wide. I, for one, was one of the "proud" users (if you're Sheldon you won't get the sarcasm, so that's the reason I put the quotes).

      Me, as the other 199.99 million didn't CHOOSE Vista, IT WAS STRONG ARMED AT US. That didn't saved the OS. The moment Windows 7 was out, I didn't buy a copy to replace it. That would have added insult to injury. I pirated it, on to that machine.

      My current machine has Windows 7 on it. They told me I could get Windows 8 for $15 bucks after it was released. I agreed and did the download once it was available. I read the reviews and decided to stay with Windows 7. Newer folks don't have that luxury. They are being STRONG ARMED AGAIN into Windows 8.

      We thought Microsoft had learned the lesson. THEY HAVEN'T. Windows 8 needs saving 'cause we don't forget VISTA, but this can be worse.

      Trust me. Very much worse. Just IBM what happened to OS/2 and the many millions they lost. Ironically, guys had no option when PC-DOS was available, but when OS/2 came, they had Windows which was INFERIOR, but faster and easier to use. SOUNDS FAMILIAR....
      cosuna
      • The IBM OS/2 Analogy Is Spot On

        I was a kid back then getting my PC Magazines out of other people's trash. I remember reading about OS2/ and even then, as a kid, I could see that IBM was trying to strong ARM its customers. Then they came out with that 25MHz PS/2 that really did not belong in the PC family, as well as the Micro Channel Bus that was as response to ISA and EISA, meant to lock-in their customers...sigh. Micro Channel ate big chunks and failed hard. I remember thinking..."How can a multi-billion dollar company not see the foolishness of trying to lock the gate when 95% of the pigs have already escaped the pen?"

        Microsoft is repeating history. They are trying to lock-in their piglets with Windows 8, not realizing that most of the piglets have become cognizant of the situation.

        Microsoft: GET A CLUE. Quit trying to lock us in, and make someone that we actually WANT to buy from you. That strategy still works!!!
        Le Chaud Lapin
        • laptops & tablets

          I am seeing more and more of both. The laptops are growing more slowly because there of more of them out there. The tablet owners usually already have a desktop or a laptop and they are adding, not replacing.
          hayneiii
      • Nothing was strong armed onto you

        You had a choice to get computers with no OS and buy the OS separately. You chose to buy a bundle of hardware + OS. There was nothing wrong with Microsoft Vista either except a handfull of bloggers bad mouthing it. For everyone else it worked fine.
        Loverock-Davidson
        • I'm bored

          "You had a choice to get computers with no OS and buy the OS separately."

          In the desktop world, you can go to Newegg and buy parts and assemble your machine by hand for this. In the laptop world...not so much. resultantly, your choices are relegated to either a handful of Ubuntu machines that are generally sold solely on the merit that they don't have Windows on them (and that their hardware is Linux compatible), you get a Mac, or you get a machine that ships with Windows and take the format hammer to it. The latter is basically the only option anymore if you want a gaming laptop; you won't find one running Linux or OSX.

          Having a choice and having a useful, viable choice are two different things. I'd love nothing more than for Dell or HP to give the option of a laptop with a completely blank hard drive. They don't. It's not a choice of "Vista vs. XP or Linux", it's "The hardware I need vs. not-the-hardware-I-need". that choice tends to play out just a smidge differently.
          voyager529
      • Cosuna, what are you talking about?

        Every company comes out with new models of their products and you either buy them or not. Simple little part of capitalism and the way companies work.
        Apple holds back features you'll need for the next gen apps regularly, so itouch/pad users are constantly FORCED to new models. Even Android adds new support and forces you the new OS if you want the latest.
        This complaining about MSFT being the only company that releases new products and phases out it's old is tedious at best.
        xuniL_z
    • Proper use of English.

      "I'm seeing less and less tablets and more notebooks."

      You should have said FEWER and FEWER. If you are going to continue regaling us with your opinions do, at least, try not to insult our collective intelligence with your inaccurate use of my mother tongue.

      As to the wider discussion: I consider the whole matter of whether Microsoft and it's products succeed to be irrelevant to me personally and to those I support. This is just another opportunity for people to expound on their prejudices. Too much of this here these days.
      grax