Dell remains committed to Windows 8 for business tablets

Dell plans to release more Windows 8 tablets and convertibles for business users later this year, a senior exec said

Windows 8 may be seeing sluggish demand, but Dell believes its the best OS for business tablets and plans to roll out more products built with the operating system later this year, a senior executive said Tuesday.

"The reason that our Windows tablets are more secure and easier to manage than Android-based products and iOS-based products is because of Windows on our tablets," said Dell vice chairman and president of global operations Jeff Clarke. "And we are not going to change that."

Clark made the comments while speaking to journalists at the Dell Solutions Summit in Beijing on Tuesday. He added that the company was focused on building tablets for business users, and not for consumers. "In business tablets we can differentiate our offerings from our competition," he said, pointing to Dell's work in making the devices more secure and easier to deploy for businesses.

Windows-based tablets still only make up a small portion of the tablet market, with a share of 4.5 percent in this year's second quarter, according to research firm IDC. In contrast, Apple's iPad had a 32.5 percent of the tablet market, while tablets running Google's Android had 62.6 percent.

The slow adoption of Windows 8 tablets is partly the result of their high prices, and the OS's lack of mobile apps, according to analysts. The Windows 8 operating system has also received mixed reviews, with some citing its lack of Start Button in the desktop mode as a major problem.

But Dell expects demand for Windows 8 devices to pick up following the release of Windows 8.1, which Microsoft will release in October. "It is a dramatic improvement over the first version of Windows 8," Clarke said.

The company's commitment to Windows 8, however, doesn't preclude it from coming out with Android tablets in the future. Dell evaluates all operating systems, but is focused on Windows 8, he said.

The company's own Windows 8 tablet, called the Latitude 10, starts at US$499.

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Michael Kan

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