Guest blogger Zuhair of MrTechz writes:
It is a well-known fact that Microsoft has struggled to make a mark in the tablet market. Unfortunately for Microsoft, consumer interest in Windows-based tablets has gradually declined as a result of a string of failed attempts by Microsoft to enter this market. This may all be about to change though; initial impressions of the upcoming Windows 8 operating system on tablets in action are quite positive.
Windows 8 is being developed to run on both x86 and ARM devices so that users get a consistent computing experience across a wide range of devices. The simple, yet effective interface provides a user-friendly experience that is replicated on both touch mobile devices and traditional desktop computers. The consumer edition of Windows 8 indicates that Microsoft has spent a great deal of time optimizing the operating system for mobile devices while also ensuring that the interface is compatible for desktop computing. There are a few reasons why I think that Windows 8 tablets will succeed. Here are a few.
Windows 8 will provide a consistent experience among devices.
Microsoft has a clear advantage when it comes to providing a unified computing experience across devices. Windows 8 will be powered by Windows Live SkyDrive, which enables all data and settings to be synchronized on all Windows 8 devices connected to a particular Microsoft account. Google fails to compete in this regard as it does not extend into a desktop environment and Apple’s iOS and OS X provide anything but a unified experience at this stage. Although iCloud is attempting to provide a consistent experience among iOS devices, what sets Microsoft above the competition is that Windows 8 can provide a consistent computing experience between laptops, desktop computers, and tablets.
The introduction of an operating system that can unify the computing experience between mobile and desktop computing will certainly be appreciated by consumers as this is something that Apple and Android have not been able to provide. All Windows 8 tablet apps will be HTML 5 based; this enables Metro apps to work on both x86 and ARM devices, thus providing a unique and consistent Windows environment on all Microsoft-powered devices. Mobile computing has grown in importance as it has become more advanced and the need for an operating system that is consistent across various devices has been growing. If Microsoft is successful in implementing a unified experience among all Windows 8 devices, then it will be well ahead of its competition.
Windows 8 has a simple and elegant tablet-optimized interface.
Windows 8 introduces a tablet-optimized interface that is refreshing and uncluttered. In contrast to iOS and Android devices, Microsoft has eliminated menu bars, task bars, or really anything that is locked onto the display. Access to settings and connectivity buttons is a simple swipe away; this is known as the Charms menu. The Charms menu isn’t revolutionary, but it does provide a more user-friendly experience and enables users to enjoy a less cluttered interface without being distracted by unnecessary buttons locked onto the display.
Windows 8 app icons are consistently shaped and positioned, providing a well-organized experience to the user. The app icons in Windows 8 are live tiles that provide real-time updates; users can arrange the tiles in any order they please, thus giving users firm control over how they want to personalize their devices. Windows 8 provides the perfect balance between the personalization capabilities of iOS and Android devices; Microsoft has extracted the tidiness aspect of iOS and the freedom that the Android home screen provides to produce a well-balanced user interface in Windows 8.
Microsoft has learned from mistakes made by Apple and Google.
Microsoft has been trying to break into the tablet market for nearly a decade now and it is fair to say that it has been largely unsuccessful. This can all change as Microsoft is better prepared this time around and has seen how Apple and Google have gone about producing successful tablet devices. Microsoft has an advantage in that it has seen the mistakes made by Apple and Google; while this places expectations on Microsoft to produce a flawless tablet computing experience, it also gives Microsoft an edge over its competitors.
We can already see that Microsoft has learned from Google’s mistake in trying to kill off the iPad; it has developed a tablet that is similarly specced but will likely draw more attention as it takes advantage of the large Windows user base. Further, by providing a single Metro user interface that is consistent across multiple devices, Microsoft may have just set up its own success in the tablet market as this is something that even Apple has not been able to fully accomplish.
Windows 8 tablets are specced to compete.
When Intel recently revealed the specifications for Windows 8 tablets, it was instantly clear that Microsoft wants to match, if not exceed, the specifications of the iPad. Intel has suggested two designs for its Windows tablet: a standard 10-inch one and an 11-inch model that comes with a physical, slide-out keyboard. The tablet will be powered by an Atom Z2760 Clover Trail chip, which is a dual core CPU that features hyper-threading technology. Other features include a nine-hour battery life and 3G/4G connectivity.
Some may argue that Microsoft is envisioning an iPad that runs on Windows with its Windows 8 tablets, however, this is not the case. While Microsoft would be aware of the fact that competitors who have produced iPad replicas have not been successful, it also realizes that the only to make an impact is to competitively spec the Windows 8 tablets. The important thing now for Microsoft is to provide a unique tablet computing experience that consumers have not already seen in current tablet devices. From what we have seen so far from Windows 8, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Windows 8 tablets succeed in the market.
CC licensed Flickr photo shared by Filip Skakun