Windows 8 Tablets: Born to fail

Windows 8 Tablets: Born to fail

Summary: I'm no Windows 8 fan, but I thought Windows 8 tablets had a shot of making it. But, $600 for an ARM tablet? $800 for an Atom-powered tablet!? If the prices we're seeing are accurate, these are dead tablets walking.

I don't care if Windows 8 on a tablet is the best mobile OS ever, at these prices, it's dead on arrival.

It's no secret that I don't like Windows 8 on new or old desktops. I really thought it might have a shot on tablets though. But at these prices!? Windows RT and 8 on tablets is as dead as a mackerel.

I mean seriously. Asus, a mid-range computer vendor, wants $599 for a Nvidia Tegra ARM-powerd Windows RT tablet? The Windows 8 tablet with an Atom processor for $799? Oh, and if you want a keyboard for either one, it will cost you an extra $199!?

Come on! My Nexus 7, the best tablet I've found to date, cost me $250. A totally maxed out iPad 3 runs runs $829. I'll take either of those in a New York minute over a Windows 8 tablet at those prices.

A friend of mine said the Windows 8 tablet with a keyboard would be worth the price since he could then use it as a full computer. My response to him was: "Isn't that called a laptop?" Actually with an Atom processor at its heart, the question should be: "Isn't that called a netbook?" And can't I get one of those for hundreds less? Why yes, yes I think I can.

Besides, with programs such as GotoMyPC you don't need a Windows device to run your Windows applications. They'll run just fine on a less expensive Android tablet or an iPad. And, of course, you can always use a cloud-based office suite like Google Docs on pretty much any device.

Leaving aside my dislike for Windows 8, even if this was the best operating system ever, I can't see anyone buying these devices at these prices. They're just too expensive for both consumers and businesses. In a world where Apple has an iron-lock on high-end tablets and Android is securing its place on the mid- and low-ends with devices such as the Nexus 7 and the Amazon Kindle Fire HD, I don't see anyone wanting to buy a Windows 8 or RT tablet at these price points.

Related Stories:

Asus Windows 8 tablet pricing comes in high; Demand likely low

Microsoft CEO talks Surface pricing, hints at iPad competition

Global tablet display shipments poised to jump by 56% in 2012

Amazon's Kindle Fire HD will give Apple's iPad fits

Linus Torvalds reviews, loves, the Google Nexus 7

Topics: Tablets, Android, Apple, Enterprise Software, iOS, Microsoft, Mobile OS, Mobility, Windows

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  • There are sheeple who will buy them

    I escaped a 100% Microsoft shop last year (a billion dollar company, FWIW). I'll guarantee you that their head (, of course) programmer will convince the half-wit CIO to grab at least fifty, just because they will "integrate" so well.
    • You keep telling yourself that...

      I'm sure it helps you get to sleep at night.
      • Right. The haters always 'escape'

        "'billion dollar companies" because they didn't like the fact that they used MS products.
        William Farrel
        • RFeply without knowing the facts a lot?

          The 100% MS decision was made five years ago, after I'd contributed VERY strongly to the company's profits with my FOSS programming. Alas, a technology-ignorant (but good friend of the family) CIO latched onto a programmer he admired who was rabiidly pro MS and policy changes were implemented that cost me my job. Now they are blissfuly licensing everything imaginable from Redmond, including the right to produce apps that die regularly because of bad updates or the like.

          You and your equally clueless lycanthropic friend just go ahead and keep singing Microsoft's praise at a pro-FOSS blog, though, if it makes you sleep better at night.

          God, why do i always forget what a trolling cesspool ZDnet blogs are?
          • Sorry you lost your job

            ZDNet is full of Microsoft worshipping mouth breathers, don't take it to heart. If you are as talented as you claim you should cash in on that and start your own company. Bet on yourself.
          • Would not it be far more accurate to state that

            ZDNet is full of Microsoft hating mouth breathers? Or Apple and Linux worshipping mouth breathers?

            Or have you turned a blind eye to the postings in Microsoft related blogs by other writers here?
            Tim Cook
          • There arealso many Microsoft

            Knuckle draggers here. The falsely believe that anything from Redmond is pure gold. Like the Zune, Kin, WP 7, Vista, Windows 8 tablets, etc. even if the competition is better. Like Microsoft's brilliant idea of using a phone UI, on a desktop. These fools believe it's better than sliced bread.
            Troll Hunter J
          • phone UI on a desktop

            i thought Apple was going to do that to Macs
          • Mouth Breathers

            I assume you mean fat, out of shape, chip eating, crumbs on shirt thirty somethings that have not left their parents house, develo--p---e-r---s---oooopppppsssss.....
          • Lulz

            Just because he considers himself a good programmer doesn't mean he has 1) the capability to run a business nor b) an idea of a product that will sell OR c) the capability to deliver it with his limited resources. Then again, he's a FOSS F@CK so he obviously doesn't understand a value proposition to begin with, nor can he perform an ROI calculation.

            I've made a ton of money selling crappy Java software projects to universities because the base platform we used was vetted and partially written by university staff. FOSS does not mean good. You end staffing up the projects with hundreds people overseas who don't speak English worth a damn because you can't find anyone here who is better at a similar cost (even with a 5x factorization) or ambitious enough to leave their basement for a paying gig, while losing any benefit you had from "free" to costs associated with dev time spent filling feature gaps.

            I've also made a lot of money selling Microsoft projects to large corporations. In the end the MS products provided more value per dollar spent, and usually cost significantly less, even inclusive of dev time.
          • RE: "go ahead and keep singing Microsoft's praise at a pro-FOSS blog

            @thebaldguy This blog article was posted under 'Tablets' (look for 'Topic: Tablets' at the top of the page). Steven [mostly] posts his anti-Microsoft rhetoric somewhere other than at:


            which is the 'Linux and Open Source' blog that he shares with Paula Rooney.

            Steven also posts blog articles at:


            This is where he posts his anti-Microsoft Internet Explorer rhetoric along with pro-Google articles (e.g., Chrome, Google+). Steven's Android articles mostly get posted at the 'Linux and Open Source' blog as Android and its various derivatives are Linux.
            Rabid Howler Monkey
          • MS haters

            So it is cool to be a sheep as long as your not an MS flock? I am glad RH and other kid in their basement versions of Linux have decided to drop support for Para-virtualization and plan their own delusional attempt at competing with Citrix and VMWare so I don't have to patch together some standardization at my work.

            Apple folks rip android apart for it's variations and non-standard ways they cater to each phone manufacturer and I have to agree. It is when they push Linux in the same breath I find it laughable. Even funnier is when they rip both
            when all the skeleton is made of is BSD.

            I will hop on the latest and greatest when it becomes that but until then I would love some professional business minded OS environment myself. That almost there talk with Linux has been there well before the first release of Ubuntu and it still isn't there.
          • RE: Trolls in the Sunlight

            J.R.R. Tolkein wrote that if the sunlight hit a troll, he would turn to stone (re-read 'The Hobbit' some time). Unfortunately, the sun does not shine on blogs. I have read over many of SJVN's articles, and I agree with some, disagree with others, and yet I have to say that he always makes me think. Now, if you do not want to think about what you read, the Microsoft Press puts out a lot of books and whitepapers, including an entire ad campaign against Open Office and how difficult it was to use (just before they changed from the standard interface they stole from Word Perfect and Lotus in the early 80's to the tabbed control box that almost nobody understands today). IBM puts out anti-Microsoft postings, Oracle puts out anti-IBM postings, Apple puts out anti-everyone else postings, and Republicans blame President Obama for the whole fiscal cliff fiasco. My point is that everyone has an opinion, and if you disagree with what another person's opinion is, you are wrong, not them. Everyone loves to point fingers at everyone else and pick them apart, but nobody enjoys being picked apart.

            As for Tea.Rollins and her claim that Java projects need to be staffed from overseas because nobody in the US is as talented for the same rate - uh, let me point out that Southern plantation owners could not find people to pick cotton for free either, so they bought slaves and put them to work, beat them, fed them next to nothing, and treated them horribly. I am not saying that you are anywhere close to a slave owner, but think about it this way. You hired those people, paid them by the hour, and then had a ton of rework because they did not understand the requirements as they were written. Whose fault was it? It was not really their fault, after all, you hired them. Americans charge more for an hour's work because - and this may shock you - we have to pay for our education, our homes, our cars, etc. In the end, though, you get the Americans to do the work cheaper because they understand what you want. Oh, and by the way, I am currently working at a company where they do a lot of IT consulting, mostly in .Net, and the company is headquartered in India, not the US. In fact, here, non-Indians are a minority. English seems like a foreign language in this place. I have half a notion to start speaking German, Spanish, or Mandarin when someone starts talking to me in an accent I do not understand. (Yes, I speak a little German and Mandarin, but I took four years of Spanish in high school, over twenty five years ago.) My point is that Java is not the only language where non-Americans are hired to do development, and your insistence that .Net programmers are somehow better because you get more stability out of the simpler applications written in .Net does not hold up. Java web applications tend to be used on a much larger scale than .Net ones. When you go shop online at Home Depot or Sears, do you think you are hitting a .Net store? Nope, it is WebSphere Commerce - a Java application - written by IBM (a large part was written in Canada, by the way).
            Garry Hurley Jr
          • You worked for Mike Cox?

            I'm truly sorry!
            John L. Ries
          • Heh

            "clueless lycanthropic friend"

            I loved it! :)
          • Sorry to hear that, but you sound like so many here

            that make up stories of "freinds", "relatives", situations, scenerios that fit perfectly their hatred of said company, with a handy story about a particular MS product that failed so miserably that it cost the company everything, even though everyone else has sang it's praises.

            And you claimed you escaped. That's not the word one uses when they are asked to leave.

            Though you also opened with the line "There are sheeple who will buy them", in essence saying that since you yourself don't like MS, anyone else who sees a benefit in going with MS products is just another person in a world of stupid people who can't think for themselves, basicaly trying to invalidate their reasoning.

            Then ask yourself why SJVN spends so much time an energy writing decidedly negative MS related opinions in a FOSS related blog?

            Though hopefuly you have found gainful employment by now, as no one should be forced out of a company for all the wrong reasons, if indeed you have been.
            William Farrel
          • This isn't ZDNet's 'Linux and Open Source' blog

            Nor is the topic of the blog article 'Linux'.

            In fact, the topic of the blog article is ... drum roll ... 'Tablets'.
            Rabid Howler Monkey
          • Ok will, maybe it's time to look in the mirror

            Since I have read many of your posts, that refer people that like using Apple products as sheep, or Isheep as you and all the apple haters have always done.

            But now that someone calls a MS fan or fans, sheep you get offended? Really? They name streets after people like you, " One way" is just one of them...
          • Agreed

            Microsoft users like Microsoft because its useful and productive. Isheep like apple because they are sheep and like to waste time beating around the bush and never getting any work done

            And then the sheep pay for a service pack because they were told it was an new OS
          • You don't know what you're talking about

            Nobody pays Microsoft for "the right to produce apps."
            You should have learned to play nicely with others and maybe you'd still have a job.