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

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

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

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?