Windows 8 may give Microsoft a tablet play

The smartphone-inspired OS seems to be a way to synchronize the Windows Phone with a future tablet, other devices

Can Microsoft's next-generation, touch-oriented Windows 8 OS give Microsoft a leg-up in the tablet computer market now dominated by Apple's iPad?

The quick answer seems to be a resounding no. The highly successful iPad is being chased by a host of contenders, including Android tablets, that have already been on the market for months.

Still, there are some things in favor of Windows 8 on tablets, analysts said.

"Microsoft has a big hill to climb with iPad out there, but Windows 8 is certainly a better model than now and takes [traditional] Windows and adds touch [capability]," said Jack Gold, an analyst at J. Gold Associates.

The Windows 8 concept borrows from Microsoft's Windows Phone interface , which uses live tiles and hubs arranged on a start touchscreen and can be used to represent groups of social contacts and applications.

"If that Windows Phone user interface catches on, it could prove popular for tablets as well," Gold added.

By borrowing from its Windows Phone interface theme of touchable tiles for Windows 8, Microsoft has shown how important the mobile computing experience has become, Gold and other analysts said.

Microsoft could also be planning to attach cloud services to tablets to generate revenues, Gold said, much in the same way it had hope to attach such services to the Kin , an early Microsoft phone that was scaled back.

"Windows 8 is what Microsoft has been hinting at all along -- the convergence of mainstream and mobile OS," Gold said. It is a theme that Apple also has followed across different form factors, he noted. "This is a contrast to the past philosophy where mobile and PC OSes were distinctly different. This is a big step for Microsoft."

Will Stofega, an analyst at IDC, agreed that Windows 8 appears to be about connecting smartphones to tablets and other form factors. "The trend seems to be to extend the [Windows] OS from smartphones to tablets to enable synchronization," Stofega said via email.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed . His e-mail address is mhamblen@computerworld.com .

Read more about mobile and wireless in Computerworld's Mobile and Wireless Topic Center.

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags mobileMicrosoftAppleoperating systemssoftwareapplicationstelecommunicationWindowsMobile operating systemsMobile and WirelessMobile OSes

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Matt Hamblen

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Essentials

James Cook University - Master of Data Science Online Course

Learn more >

Mobile

Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?