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Windows 8 Sells Best On New Tablets
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Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
4/26/2013 | 8:06:26 PM
re: Windows 8 Sells Best On New Tablets
Yes, Windows 8 is mandatory on Windows 8 tablets. But that's not really the point.

Windows 8 has amassed more market share on tablets than on PCs. No one FORCED consumers into buying these tablet products. Thus, the fact that tablet adoption has outpaced overall adoption lends credence to the notion that though Windows 8 is winning few fans among desktop users, it's NOT an abject failure among tablet users. That's the point.

To be clear, the Win8 tablets' decent showing doesn't PROVE that the OS is satisfying tablet users. The market gains could speak to the number of people who were curious, the number of people willing to accept compromises just so they could use Office on a tablet, etc. If Windows 8.1 and Haswell/ Bay Trail don't lead to meaningful gains, the entire Live Tiles experiment will be on shaky ground.

But for all the (frankly myopic) talk about how Windows 8 has killed the PC, it's noteworthy that the OS has fared decently in the tablet space. Mobile, BYOD-friendly devices are, after all, where Microsoft really needed to make a splash. The desktop market will be wrapped around Windows 7 for years, so even though Redmond isn't without worry in that space, PCs don't represent the same urgency that tablets and smartphones do. Microsoft will need to figure out how to unite the two camps of users, and I'm not convinced yet that Windows 8.1 will deliver the solution. But Windows 8 victories have been in short supply, and I think the tablet market share qualifies as at least a mini-triumph. Even if the sales only amount to hitting a single, it at least means that Microsoft is on first base and still in the game. A lot of people were assuming that Redmond had already struck out.
Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
4/26/2013 | 8:14:10 PM
re: Windows 8 Sells Best On New Tablets
Also worth noting: the fact that Windows 8 adoption has evidently been better on tablets than PCs and clamshell Ultrabooks has implications outside of Microsoft. Windows 8.1 devices will use Atom, Core, and ARM processors. iPads will continue to use ARM chips, unless the Intel A6 rumor is true. Android will be largely ARM with some Atom chips in the mix. Smartphones have largely shunned Atom chips so far. There's a lot of movement in the chipmaker universe, in other words, and Windows 8 isn't an inconsequential factor in how the cards ultimately fall.
Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
4/27/2013 | 12:52:15 AM
re: Windows 8 Sells Best On New Tablets
Thanks for reading, and for sharing your experiences with Windows 8.

I've gone into pretty heavy detail elsewhere regarding the varied reasons that many users are dissatisfied with Windows 8, just as I've gone into detail about why Windows Blue might - and I emphasize "might" - clean things up. Some of the other reporters who cover Microsoft have done likewise. Given deadlines and this past coverage (some of which is linked in this article), I didn't belabor the issues of user discontent in this case. Even so, I don't think this article neglects user dissatisfaction.

For example:

"With PC sales down, however, many Win8 licenses have been installed, to lackluster effect, on previous-generation hardware";

"As a Windows 7 replacement, in other words, Microsoft's newest offering hasn't performed well";

"There also have been indications that, among
enterprise customers, few XP holdouts are jumping directly to Windows 8,
whose touch-oriented interface has so far struck business users as more
burdensome than empowering."

I could have used more aggressive language, I suppose, but the idea that Windows 8 isn't meeting the needs of desktop users is pretty pervasive in the article. Indeed, it was sort of the point; Windows 8's desktop market share is pretty lackluster compared to what its predecessors' achieved at the same point in their respective life cycles, which not only makes Win8's relative tablet success noteworthy but also reinforces that, for most users, the OS has been a flop on the desktop.

But yes, your frustrations are unfortunately (for Microsoft, at least) a common theme. I understand why Windows 8 has defenders, but even people in this camp tend to say things like, "It's great, once you've learned how it works." User-friendliness hasn't been part of the OS's identity, so far.


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