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10/18/2011
11:38 PM
Ed Hansberry
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Dell Bets On Windows 8 To Take On iPad

CEO Michael Dell said Microsoft's OS has better chance than Android in the tablet market.

The iPad established the tablet market nearly two years ago. Competition has come in the form of a BlackBerry tablet called the PlayBook, the webOS based TouchPad, and a plethora of tablets running Android, but none are proving up to the task. When you think tablet, you think iPad, just like when you think MP3 player, you think iPod.

Michael Dell said last week at the Dell World conference that he thinks Microsoft's new Windows 8 operating system has the best shot at giving the iPad a run for its money.

Microsoft tried to launch the tablet market back in 2005 with Windows XP Tablet Edition, but hardware was bulky and it required a special stylus. Performance was mediocre and the cost gave many people pause. Even though Vista and Windows 7 support the tablet form factor, those platforms don't have meaningful market share in the tablet space.

Windows 8 should change that, though to what extent is anyone's guess. If you've seen Windows Phone 7, Windows 8 is immediately recognizable. Gone is the start menu. Instead, the desktop is covered with live tiles, similar to the home screen of Windows Phone 7. While a lot of effort has gone into making sure this platform will work with traditional laptops and desktop machines, its real strength will be the tablet form factor.

[ At Web 2.o Summit Tuesday, Michael Dell hinted HP's Pain Is His Gain. ]

It appears Dell is so pleased with the progress Microsoft has made in this area, his company plans to ship Microsoft tablet devices in the third quarter of 2012. Dell's focus will be on the business side of the tablet market, which makes sense. A Windows-based tablet will need to establish a foothold somewhere and Microsoft has extensive relationships with the enterprise.

I am sure Microsoft will make a holiday consumer push when the tablets ship, but it will be the underdog against the iPad in the consumer market. In the enterprise though, it will have an advantage over the iPad. The key will be the platform will have to be a stellar performer. If there is the slightest hint that it operates as a PC sans keyboard, it is game over. Based on very early previews, Microsoft seems to be on the right track.

Think the iPad will have a serious contender next year, or will 2012 end the way 2010 did and 2011 will, with the iPad dominating and everything else just being, well, something else?

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transistortwister
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transistortwister,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/15/2011 | 4:51:54 AM
re: Dell Bets On Windows 8 To Take On iPad
so will windows 8 for phones show a picture of a disconnecting phone when it crashes or just the familiar B.S.O.D.
Guest
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Guest,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/21/2011 | 4:00:15 AM
re: Dell Bets On Windows 8 To Take On iPad
Agree, I am sure it will integrate well with Windows 8 desktops, but who is going to be using them. Microsoft products, Exchange, SharePoint and whatnot, don't integrate at all with non-Microsoft products, so it has a low bar.
Guest
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Guest,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/14/2011 | 2:11:32 AM
re: Dell Bets On Windows 8 To Take On iPad
Dell will have to sell 10 Windows 8 tablets to make the amount of profit Apple makes selling one iPad. As always, Microsoft's system works well for Microsoft.
chief_nimda
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chief_nimda,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/20/2011 | 9:06:27 PM
re: Dell Bets On Windows 8 To Take On iPad
I find it funny. The W8...as in Wait...the W8 tablet..never mind
ajones320
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ajones320,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/20/2011 | 7:55:57 PM
re: Dell Bets On Windows 8 To Take On iPad
Interesting that Dell joins the group of delusional dreamers about W8. Android is already here and it gains market share rapidly. A W8 tablet a year from now is as hip as a newspaper from last week.
Leo Regulus
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Leo Regulus,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/20/2011 | 6:33:42 PM
re: Dell Bets On Windows 8 To Take On iPad
IMHO, Win 8 will provide significantly more business and employment opportunities than iPad.
TreeInMyCube
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TreeInMyCube,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/20/2011 | 3:03:44 PM
re: Dell Bets On Windows 8 To Take On iPad
I think that price will be a key factor for the consumer market. Amazon put a stake in the ground with the Kindle Fire, and Dell could do the same with a Windows 8 tablet. If their device is too close in price to the iPad, people will say, "Meh, I'll pay the $20 more and get an iPad."
For the enterprise customers, they will need to have key advantages, e.g., integration with Exchange 2010, remote admin, that the iPad lacks. If corp IT departments view the new Dell / Win8 tablets to be just as hard to integrate as iPads, then it will be a harder sell.
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