Microsoft: Tablets Will Outsell Desktop PCs in 2013

During TechEd Europe in Amsterdam, Microsoft’s vice president for Windows Web Services, Antoine Leblond, said that 2013 will be the year tablets outsell desktop PCs. Yet on the other hand, he said touch is coming to the PC in a big way, and that it will change the way user interfaces are designed "very dramatically." In fact, touch will alter the way we use our desktops much like the mouse originally did back in the 1960s.

Naturally Leblond was out promoting the upcoming launch of Microsoft's touchy Windows 8 operating system. Just last week, the company revealed its own branded Windows 8 (hybrid) tablet featuring a super-thin keyboard that also serves as a cover. It will arrive in two flavors: x86-based featuring Windows 8 Pro, and ARM-based sporting Windows RT.

However his 2013 prediction is an obvious one. In addition to Microsoft's own tablet plans, hardware partners are scheduled to sell Windows 8 tablets at launch and thereafter. Meanwhile, Apple is rumored to launch its own 7-inch iPad Mini later this fall and likely the iPad 4 in the first half of 2013. Google is launching its own branded Android tablet with the Asus Nexus 7 while the second-generation Kindle Fire is scheduled to make an appearance next month, all leading to a rise in tablet sales in 2013.

Yet despite recent complaints from Windows 8 users regarding navigation on a desktop using the standard mouse and keyboard, Leblond insists that the new Metro design works equally well on a desktop or a tablet. He proved this by allowing colleagues to demonstrate a variety of keyboard shortcuts to navigate the Metro Start menu. He said users can also switch between the Metro style apps and traditional x86 software.

"You don’t have to choose between a small, thin and light tablet and the apps you rely on," he said. "You don’t have to choose between the device you want and the device you’re allowed to use at work."

PC Pro reports that he also demonstrated Windows To Go. This allows employees to run a locked-down installation of Windows 8 on a Windows 7 PC. This is done by simply plugging in a USB drive, thus allowing companies to give employees access to corporate applications without the security risks of running it on their own hardware.

  • damianrobertjones
    Would that be because everyone already has one and anyone with at least a core 2 doesn't 'really' need to replace? The up-graders will, of course, change a few times.

    The article is common sense.

    "Waahhhh I don't want Windows 8 on my desktop!" - Then don't get it then????!!?? (It'll be on mine as I embrace change)
  • ajcroteau
    I won't be swapping out my desktop or laptops anytime soon but i would have to say, I definitely think tablets are more convenient than either a laptop or a desktop as far as surfing the web, checking your email, playing certain games... we americans LOVE!!!! our convenience gadgets...

    As far as Windows 8, as far as what i've seen... i hate it... however i'm a software engineer and in order for me to stay competitive in this market, it'll most definitely make it's way onto my home systems... Long story short, I'll have no choice but to install it, learn it, and like it... :(
  • jacobdrj
    I agree with damianrobertjones... If you are rocking at least a Core 2 with 4ish gigs of RAM, you need not upgrade at this point: only maintain...

    I have a Q6600... Even with my gaming needs, I am ok for now. I don't know anyone who replaced their Core 2 based laptops because of speed, especially when shown what an SSD can do. They only junk them because the PCB fails, and it isn't worth replacing the Mobo...

    A $350 laptop is more than enough for most people.

    Not everyone has a tablet yet, so those will be in demand in excess of desktops and lappys.
  • mobrocket
    For the average user, who needs a desktop pc unless its for work?

    most people just need something they can get online with for facebook and email

    is that a good thing, i dont know, but its just a fact about americans and their computing habits
  • shafe88
    I don't think tablets will out sell desktop's any time soon.
    damianrobertjonesWould that be because everyone already has one and anyone with at least a core 2 doesn't 'really' need to replace? The up-graders will, of course, change a few times.The article is common sense."Waahhhh I don't want Windows 8 on my desktop!" - Then don't get it then????!!?? (It'll be on mine as I embrace change) Just because people have a computer that doesn't need replaced, doesn't mean people wont replace it.
  • belardo
    Antoine Leblond = IDIOT.

    So what Leblond is saying, "Windows8 PCs will tank so badly, that the only thing that may sell is the Windows branded tablet. Since we can sell ours at a profit or below the price of any partner that actually bothers, only ours will be viable."

    Microsoft just screwed every PC hardware partner out there.

    Question A: If people demand it, will HP, Dell, Lenovo, Acer be allowed to sell Win7 systems?

    Question B: If (A) is true, does this mean that microsoft will count each PC sale, a "win8" sale anyway - the way they did for all the XP loads?

    Question C: Will the partners be upset when dealing with the returns of NEW win8PCs because of the defective OS that was pre-installed?

    Question D: Is there a vote on TOMS on the what people think of Win8?
  • belardo
    In the OLD days... when the Windows 7 Preview Release version came out, I tried it out on my Thinkpad... after 1-2 weeks, I felt it good enough to RUN on my main desktop computer. Windows7 was that smooth. First time I ever could say "I love this version of Windows".

    Windows8... bla. No way, no how. I *LOVE* the Metro UI for phones. I use it everyday, I loved it since the first time I used it. Simple big tile buttons that TOLD you information without pressing a button. For a desktop... useless garbage.

    All Microsoft HAS/HAD to do is this: a USER option to make METRO the default interface or NOT.

    I know only 1 person with a touch-screen desktop PC.... after a few weeks... they never touched the screen again. Its a pain to go from keyboard to desktop screen, etc... besides the fingerprints!

    Anyone with a tablet KNOWS they are constantly cleaning their displays... and using WIPES.
  • frank_drebin
    No thanks. I don't need windows on my tablet
  • math1337
    It's because windows 8 will cause PC sales to tank, allowing Android and iOS tablets to gain market share.

    Hopefully, OEMs add some sort of custom start menu, and hide the metro along with their bloatware.
  • killerclick
    Touch on desktop? But my screens are almost 3 feet away... Touch only makes sense for handhelds and kiosks.

    As for tablets outselling desktops, I'm not surprised. After all, most people use the computer for Facebook and web browsing, and that's way more comfortable to do from the couch than a desk.

    Desktops will now become computers for professionals (and hardcore gamers), making them more expensive. The best thing to do now is wait for hardware discounts for desktop components (due to lower demand) and put together the best future-proof desktop you can afford.