Who's surprised to hear this? I'm not in the least bit surprised. Here's why.
First, the tablet market is now well established. The iPad is the king, the Kindle Fire is the queen, Android devices are the serfs filling in the gaps, and the PlayBook is the jester. That's enough for consumers to get their heads around as it is.
Then there's the, well, absence of Windows 8 tablets to attract the eye. Windows 8 isn't out yet. The marketing machine hasn't been kicked into gear. Without shiny things to catch the eye it's natural that people's minds are going to wander elsewhere. People (in particular consumers) want to know about what they can buy in the here and now, not six months or so down the line. The holiday season tends to focus and magnify this effect as people are thinking about what they can buy within the next few weeks.
Another thing about that chart that caught my eye is that a massive 24% of respondents 'who are not opposed to buying a tablet' don't know what OS they'd want on their tablet, almost as many as want iOS (28%) and eight percentage points more than want Android on their tablet.
Sure, it's hard to see where Microsoft and Windows fits into the tablet equation, especially as the bar that makers have to limbo under in the non-iPad market now seems to be set at $199 by Amazon, but let's wait to see what hardware and software innovations will be baked into Windows tablets before writing them off as dead.