Windows 8's competition is Google first, Apple iPad second

Windows 8's competition is Google first, Apple iPad second

Summary: Microsoft's Windows 8 is a big bet on mobility. The issue is that Google has the OEM relationships on the mobile front. Can Surface change the equation?


A year from now Microsoft will either be a significant mobile and tablet player due to Windows 8 or it will be losing market share. And the outcome may boil down to Microsoft's relationship with hardware partners.

That's a takeaway from Gartner analyst David Cearley. His top 10 strategic technology trends included a hefty dose of Windows 8 cast in a mobile context.

Cearley moved to clarify the research firm's take that 90 percent of companies won't adopt Windows 8 in 2013. "Ninety percent of companies won't adopt Windows 8 in 2013, but that doesn't mean that 90 percent won't adopt it," said Cearley. "Windows 8 is Microsoft's anchor point for mobile as well as a cross-over experience."


But the adoption of Windows 8 will be slow. "Enterprises will evaluate Windows 8 as part of a mobile strategy," he said.

Putting Windows 8 in a mobile frame changes everything. Why? Google---not Microsoft---has the OEM relationships on the mobile front. There will be more Android powered hardware than Microsoft can match.

In other words, Windows 8 needs a form factor that's a hit and can bring along other partners. "One of the most important battles over the next year isn't Microsoft vs. the Apple and the iPad. It's Microsoft vs. Google in various markets. Can Microsoft win over OEMs?" said Cearley. "This is where the Surface comes into play. Microsoft is trying to walk a balance."

Sure, Windows 8 is more enterprise friendly, but consumers will determine the operating system's fate, he said. "If Windows 8 is suboptimal with consumers there will be challenges," said Cearley.

In a nutshell, Windows 8 could see challenges in the beginning with its app selection and ecosystem and how quick it iterates will determine Microsoft's success.

"Microsoft will face significant challenges next year if it doesn't execute," said Cearley. "If it addresses consumer traction it may see share grow."

Topics: Windows, Android, Microsoft, Mobility

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  • Mr. Dignan,

    Where's your article covering the fact that uspto has just invalidated Apple's wonderful rubber-banding pattent. One of which used as an excuse to steal a billion plus from Samsung? Oh, wait you're the one who gave the nod to one Mr. Jason Perlow, who prophesized the demise of Android because of a trial that was about Samsungs implementation of designs and software. Oh, yeah i forget you guys are too busy writing wonderful articles about how ios5+ adoption is holy and how evil and terrible google is with fragmentation.
  • Windows 8's competition is Google first, Apple iPad second

    I can't believe this analyst is getting paid and now reposted by ZDNet for stating things we already know. Companies always wait before upgrading to the latest version of software unless they are a developer shop. There will not be major adoption by companies for Microsoft Windows 8 in 2013 but that's not to say that the consumers won't. When its released this Friday I know of a dozen people that will be upgrading.

    The analyst if that is what you want to call him questions the OEM relationship. Microsoft can easily get those same deals as Google and has an advantage since they will release fewer products. Look at the state of android right now and you will see there are just too many android devices on the market. This is too confusing for the customers and can't differentiate between them. With Microsoft Windows 8 devices you will see things like the Microsoft Surface and how it has set the bar for mobile computing. They will design and work with OEMs not to make a million device but a few really inspiring ones.

    I can see how Microsoft will win the bet on mobile computing with Windows 8.
    Loverock Davidson-
    • yes, to answer that

      Sony, which competes with Microsoft in the phones and tablets with rival OS, is also releasing Windows systems prior to Android. Sony is also releasing Windows 8 ultrabooks/hybrids and guess what by default Windows 8 systems will have XBox Live integration, which is chief rival to its PlayStation. This analysts has no idea when it comes to OEM and Microsoft relationship. Microsoft has links with OEMs prior to the existence of Google itself.
      Here is the list of major Windows 8 OEMs, may not be complete list though:
      1. HP
      2. DELL
      3. Lenovo
      4. ASUS
      5. ACER/Gateway/eMachines
      6. Toshiba
      7. Sony
      8. Samsung
      9. LG
      10. Fujitsu
      11. and so on.
      Ram U
      • Smartphone and Tablets

        I believe he is referring to smartphones and tablets, an area where Microsoft doesn't have a strong OEM relationship (except minor player Nokia).
        • Smartphone and Tablet OEMs


          LG - Phones, PCs and Tablets
          Samsung - PCs, Tablets, Phones
          HTC - Phones, will probably come out with a Tablet
          Nokia - Phones (By the way one of the largest cell phone makers in the world)
          Lenovo - PCs, Tablets and Rumors of Phones
          Dell - PCs, Tablets, Phones (yes they have made phones)
          HP - PCs, Tablets, Phones (Yes they do make phones)
          Sony - PCs, Tablets, Phones

          Plus there are even other compaines like VIZO who are getting into the PC and Tablet bussiness

          Microsoft des not have a lack of top tier vendors to make gear that runs Win8.
  • What a waste of bits. 90% wont adopt W8 in 2013? Really?

    Everyone knows that already. That's true with every windows release. 90% wont adopt windows 9 or 10 or 11 0r 12 in their first year either. This is not news worthy. And oem relationships? MS already has all they need for W8. I hope no one paid for these "insights".
    Johnny Vegas
  • analysts are useless

    Larry D as usual dont have anything postive about MS and is a google sheep...

    "Putting Windows 8 in a mobile frame changes everything. Why? Google---not Microsoft---has the OEM relationships on the mobile front. There will be more Android powered hardware than Microsoft can match."

    - All OEM's are too busy making Win 8 tablets. Consumers are going to dump crippled devices like ipad and android tablets... Win RT / Win 8 is going to be the huge winner here..

    - regarding Enterprise, most of them has just completed the Win XP upgrade cycle, and first year adoption of new OS is always slow. So no big news here. But the enterprise tablet market is going to be a different story. Ipads will be throw out and will be replaced by shiny Windows tablets.
  • RE: "Windows 8's competition is Google first

    Android, with both Amazon and Barnes & Noble, is broader than Google and it's OHA partners. And both Amazon and B & N have very recently announced low-priced, nominal 9-inch tablets that will soon be available. These 9-inch tablets are priced well below the iPad (including last year's model) and forthcoming Windows 8- and Windows RT-based tablets.

    Both B & N and Amazon have also led the way with low-priced 7-inch tablets and forced Google to enter the battle with the Nexus 7. We have yet to see Microsoft approach the 7-inch tablet market (other than with their Android "tax").

    Google has made a number of missteps with Android:

    o Poor app control in Google Play (formerly Android Market)
    o Poor OS control over their OHA partners that are often late or absent with Android updates/upgrades and add crapware to their devices
    o Their acquisition of Motorola Mobility is a concern to its OHA hand-set partners

    The first two represent security risks for their users. Expect Microsoft to capitalize on all of these missteps.

    As for the OEMs, all they want to do is sell lots of devices and makes lots of money. They'll run with whatever OS (or OSs) that they can make money with. Forthcoming Microsoft tablet models have actually benefited from prior Android-based tablet designs (i.e., ASUS Transformer with the optional keyboard dock).
    Rabid Howler Monkey
  • Larry, Larry, Larry

    What a motor mouth you are with this drivel. Real people who do real work need a real OS. Google is fine for cranking out garbage like this. However when you have 8-12 active broswer links, Outlook monitoring 4 email accounts, have a couple of 4 MB (that's 4 megabytes Larry) XLS open, a VPN SSL into corp with a FileMaker client running then come back and tell me that Google can do all that. Oh and 3 other virtualized Win 7/ XP instances doing other things in the background.

    When I get out of tech stuff the first 3 things that I will do is cancel my subscriptions to ZDNET, Networkworld and Computerworld. Honestly it's now a 50 - 50 proposition that any given article will have any real value or any real research in it before the journalist hits send.
  • Google is to the mobile market, what Linux was to netbooks,

    here today, gone tomorrow.

    Android will be gone in about 3 years, and the OEMs for Android will have found Windows 8 and WindowsRT, and in fact, they already have.

    The article above must've been meant a click-bait, because, it's not based on any kind of reality at all.
    • you're headed for a rude awakening!

      so Goggle/Android is gone tomorrow? Google is outmaneuvering MS, big time. Not only Android is here to stay, in years to come it will be Google vs Apple, and then all the rest (BB, Bada, W8, etc.); but also, in a few years Chrome will grab a decent chunk of market share. Already is the #1 selling netbook in Amazon. Google, with Android, proved they have the will and the means; For me, and I suspect many others (see Amazon sales) chrome represent a very valuable proposition. Google platform, as a consumer, and as a developer is more compelling than MS ecosystem (Bing, c'mon...).

      W8 adoption numbers are not lying. MS will get, at a certain point, certain traction. Problem is, Google and Apple are moving faster. looking how things are unfolding (already people are talking of the Windows 8 fiasco), I foresee big shake up in how the market is divided; desktop will be less and less relevant, ditto the Windows franchise.
  • RE: Android will be gone in about 3 years

    Get over it adornoe, Microsoft's best day's are behind them.
    Rabid Howler Monkey
    • Oh, sure, Rabid. Go ahead and convince yourself of that.

      Reality is much different.

      You've heard of reality, haven't you.

      It's based on what's really happening all around you, and not based on what you wish or hope for.
      • Are you saying that Android gone in 3 years is reality?

        seems you're confused...
        for help, go to

        you're welcome...
      • After about one year

        What's your "reality"?
  • Not a chance

    The Surface RT (and its Windows RT brethren) are positioned AND PRICED head-to-head with the iPad. Google devices cannot compete feature-for-feature with anything either Microsoft or Apple have to offer.
    M Wagner