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Forrester Says Windows 8 Tablets Are Dead-on-Arrival

By - Source: Forrester | B 69 comments

Microsoft has missed "the peak of consumer desire" for Windows 8 tablets, Forrester's JP Gownder believes.

While 46 percent of US consumers would have wanted to own a Windows 8 tablet in Q1 2011, the share has declined to just 25 percent in Q3. Forrester's JP Gownder says that Microsoft's marketing essentially failed to keep a momentum in the market and "amp up" expectations.

Forrester's take is that any late-comer to a market needs a compelling strategy, which is what Amazon and Barnes & Noble apparently created, to establish a necessary consumer desire that can sell products. As it stands now, Gownder indicates that Windows 8 tablets that are simply me-too devices are dead on arrival and require a fresh and convincing approach to stand a chance in a cut-throat market.

"Windows 8 tablets must provide consumers with a more differentiated product experience than it otherwise would have, had Microsoft entered the market sooner," the analyst wrote. "They’ll have to take a lesson from Amazon’s product strategists, who fundamentally changed the tablet product experience by leading with content and services rather than feeds and speeds, at a compelling price point."

Without having seen a Windows 8 tablet, it is, of course, difficult to predict the opportunity of the OS on tablets. We haven't seen a cross-device integration yet. We don't know how Windows 8 tablets can interact with Windows 8 PCs and we don't know how well Windows 8 devices as well as Windows Phones will be able to interact with Xbox Live, which remains a strangely underused asset in Microsoft's Windows and Windows Phone lineups. It is a bit early to discount the opportunity of Windows 8 as a platform spanning a variety of devices just yet, especially since the new touch interface will work much better on a tablet than it will on a vertical notebook or desktop screen.

If Microsoft gets the cross-device integration right, Windows 8 could easily turn into the successful catch-up player Forrester believes it can't be on tablets.

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Top Comments
  • 25 Hide
    jerrspud , November 30, 2011 1:21 PM
    I'm I the only one waiting to buy one that has a real OS?
  • 21 Hide
    lancelot123 , November 30, 2011 1:22 PM
    I've been waiting for Microsoft to finally starting making some nice tablets. Screw Apple and Droid tablets. Give me one with a Windows OS so I can use any of my PC programs on it. Enjoy your Angry Birds while I play Starcraft.
  • 13 Hide
    haldarc , November 30, 2011 1:39 PM
    Forrester couldn't be more wrong. I have an entire corporation just waiting to buy some Windows 8 tablets. Finally we can get rid of these Apple "toys" and get some real work done. True Microsoft Domain integration, corporate level control, and the ability to utilize our vast library of existing applications (without having to give Apple a cut). No doubt they're definately taking their time, but it will be worth the wait.
Other Comments
  • 7 Hide
    monkeysweat , November 30, 2011 1:14 PM
    windows does have the most potential out there,, already have phones, consoles, Pcs,, not too difficult to make the tablet integrate with them and make it a 'home base' or controller... maybe even a second screen in some cases
  • 10 Hide
    billybobser , November 30, 2011 1:16 PM
    to be honest, the fad is dieing down, and hopefully in the future, they'll be better integrated and actually worth having.
  • 25 Hide
    jerrspud , November 30, 2011 1:21 PM
    I'm I the only one waiting to buy one that has a real OS?
  • 8 Hide
    Anonymous , November 30, 2011 1:21 PM
    Could work if it ties in to Windows, like the Go to My PC software and you can use your desktop/laptop programs on it, add Media Center, XBL, they could have a compelling product!
  • 21 Hide
    lancelot123 , November 30, 2011 1:22 PM
    I've been waiting for Microsoft to finally starting making some nice tablets. Screw Apple and Droid tablets. Give me one with a Windows OS so I can use any of my PC programs on it. Enjoy your Angry Birds while I play Starcraft.
  • -1 Hide
    Northwestern , November 30, 2011 1:28 PM
    It's all been a fad and it's now dying. Microsoft will have to have hype big enough to compete with the release of Windows 95 in order to re-energize the tablet market or at least make their tablet more successful.
  • 1 Hide
    STravis , November 30, 2011 1:30 PM
    SomeonewithnonameCould work if it ties in to Windows, like the Go to My PC software and you can use your desktop/laptop programs on it, add Media Center, XBL, they could have a compelling product!


    You can already do that with the current crop of stuff out there...
  • -4 Hide
    STravis , November 30, 2011 1:31 PM
    lancelot123I've been waiting for Microsoft to finally starting making some nice tablets. Screw Apple and Droid tablets. Give me one with a Windows OS so I can use any of my PC programs on it. Enjoy your Angry Birds while I play Starcraft.


    Can I file this under the "I don't know what a tablet is to be used for?" - Guy, MS tried that already (your suggestion) and failed miserably. Why the hell would they go down that road again?
  • 1 Hide
    phate , November 30, 2011 1:31 PM
    It'll be about as successful as WP7 phones. ... ...
  • 3 Hide
    nbraybrook , November 30, 2011 1:34 PM
    lancelot123I've been waiting for Microsoft to finally starting making some nice tablets. Screw Apple and Droid tablets. Give me one with a Windows OS so I can use any of my PC programs on it. Enjoy your Angry Birds while I play Starcraft.


    And how are you doing to play Starcraft on a tablet? Windows needs to stick to OS and PC / Laptop, tablets are a fad, they are good for some things but realistically nothing more than casual entertainment, light web browsing, maybe a movie. They lack to many features to be highly productive as a real comp or laptop.
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , November 30, 2011 1:37 PM
    jerrspudI'm I the only one waiting to buy one that has a real OS?


    Why dont you buy the acer ones with windows 7 loaded?
  • 13 Hide
    haldarc , November 30, 2011 1:39 PM
    Forrester couldn't be more wrong. I have an entire corporation just waiting to buy some Windows 8 tablets. Finally we can get rid of these Apple "toys" and get some real work done. True Microsoft Domain integration, corporate level control, and the ability to utilize our vast library of existing applications (without having to give Apple a cut). No doubt they're definately taking their time, but it will be worth the wait.
  • 3 Hide
    Cormag , November 30, 2011 1:39 PM
    Honestly I think the biggest hurdle for Windows tablets so far has been the price...even the cheapest one tend to cost 2-3 times more than their Android counter parts. Personally, I won't get a tablet until it runs windows programs. Anything else is just a toy.

    I truly hope Microsoft integrates Windows 8 into all devices, PC, phone, tablet, and XBOX. Then I can have one ecosystem to contain all aspects of my electronic life. Makes things simpler and more compatible.
  • 2 Hide
    dargon_supreme , November 30, 2011 1:39 PM
    I agree. Integration is the key. I prefer to have a computer, a tablet and a phone running the same OS, like Windows 8, fully integrated, than having an Android phone, a Windows 7 PC and a iOS tablet without any integration. That is why Apple is strong. Microsoft should go that way.
  • 0 Hide
    de5_Roy , November 30, 2011 1:47 PM
    analysts, they're always saying stuff. if, by any chance, they turn out to be right, nvidia, microsoft will be in trouble. arm and ms are betting a lot on winarm (temp.)alliance. afaik windows phone didn't make much of a dent in the smartphone market.
    and tablet craze really is slowly calming down. look what happened to netbook, when they started out, people bought them, now they're almost junk. pc makers are getting out of tablet market (or so they have said) and are focusing more on ultrabooks and laptops.
  • 5 Hide
    soo-nah-mee , November 30, 2011 1:47 PM
    I think Windows 8 tablets are going to be great, but I agree that they are going to be very late to the game. They should be going on sale for this Christmas. A lot of people are going to be buying iPad2s and Tegra 3 tablets this year and will have no use for another tablet in 18 months.
  • 3 Hide
    psychobob , November 30, 2011 1:49 PM
    lancelot123I've been waiting for Microsoft to finally starting making some nice tablets. Screw Apple and Droid tablets. Give me one with a Windows OS so I can use any of my PC programs on it. Enjoy your Angry Birds while I play Starcraft.


    1)How are you going to play Starcraft or any other serious game on a tablet? Are you going buy a keyboard and mouse for it, and essentially turn it into a 10 inch PC?

    2)Do you really think it's going to cost under $500? The cheapest Win 7 slate I could find is the Gigabyte S1080, at around $650. And if you want the kind of hardware to play games like Starcraft, well that will probably run you around 1k if such a think will ever exist.
  • -3 Hide
    Anonymous , November 30, 2011 1:57 PM
    ah microsoft. 3 steps behind as usual. taking bets on if you'll have to defrag their tablets too. any takers?
  • 0 Hide
    TEAMSWITCHER , November 30, 2011 2:01 PM
    Forrester is right. Microsoft is simply getting to market too late in every new consumer electronics segment. First it was MP3 players, then smart phones, now tablets. These new segments are maturing faster than Microsoft can develop "me too" products to compete in them. The Nook tablet and Kindle Fire are already below the $250.00 price point, and Apple will likely have a 7.8" Sub $300.00 iPad before Windows 8 even ships. With the high cost of the Windows 8 OS, few Windows Tablet applications, and no supplemental revenue streams from books, movies, and music sales, PC makers will be unable to compete. The playing field is already set for Apple, Google, and Amazon - Microsoft should focus on making Windows 8 a great Desktop/Laptop OS rather than risky Tablet/Desktop Hybrid OS that tries to be both, and in the end does neither very well.
  • 5 Hide
    Anonymous , November 30, 2011 2:02 PM
    Apparently some people here don't realize that windows 8 tablets will run on ARM. That means that your legacy applications WILL NOT WORK unless they are recompiled (and possibly even re-written) to run on ARM
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