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Why Windows 8 Will Be A Huge Threat To Android And Apple

Eric McBride
15

 

(picture from MediaCloud Wordpress)

It's no secret that there's an all out war going on between Google and Apple to control mobile phone and tablet marketshare, and with the patent grabbing and multiple lawsuits going on, it seems that both companies might have forgotten about the actual Godfather of operating systems: Microsoft. You may not have heard their name that much when it comes to phone or tablet sales for a while now, but to underestimate them would be foolish for anyone. Keep in mind that this is the company that makes more money from Android than it does from its own mobile operating system, and they have consistently controlled and maintined global marketshare of PC operating systems (Windows) pretty much since the internet became a household product. Microsoft has made a few moves in the past year or so with little success when it comes to mobile phones and tablets, but I can tell you right now that this is very shortly about to change.

A few weeks ago I did an article on why I wanted a Windows 8 tablet, and in that article was a video which showed off a very impressive live demo on a Windows tablet that honestly blew my mind. That tablet wasn't a tablet..it was a laptop that looked like a tablet, with the specs of a laptop, and with a beautiful design that Samsung is known for. If the pricing is right on that, there will be no stopping it. So why am I concerned so much about Windows 8? For quite a few reasons actually:

The App Ecosystem

Windows is WAY behind Apple and Android when it comes to applications, but it will only be a matter of time before the amount of Windows apps go through the roof. Why will that happen? Simply because Microsoft is pushing Windows app development on both ARM and Intel Windows computers, meaning that the 1.2 BILLION Windows users could all be potentially very loyal customers to the OS they have used for most of their lives. Windows is THE operating system built for the masses, and IOS or Android can't compete when it comes down to the sheer numbers of people using their OS or the amount of people that are very comfortable using it. 

Office

Both Android and IOS have great suite products available that can provide an Office like experience, but Windows 8 tablets are reportedly coming with Office 15. Not something similiar to Office, but THE Office with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and more. Not only are the masses familiar with Office, it does it's job well and will help to make Windows tablets extremely productive.

Plug and Play

Plugging your tablet into a keyboard or mouse will be INSANELY easy with a Windows 8 tablet due to Windows driver support. Having a dock or mouse for your tablet will no longer be a feature, it will be completely standard. It will also allow for consumers to plug in a printer, hard disk, or game controller right into their tablet with no issues. I have to admit...that's awesome, and a huge selling point for consumers, myself included.

Xbox, Kinect, and Direct X Support

Games anyone? While the iPad might be great for gaming, and Nvidia's Tegra 3 processors in the new Android tablets provide great power to run great titles, NOTHING will rival Direct X on ARM. This is the most advanced graphics platform in the world, and will take gaming on a tablet to an entirely new universe. Call of Duty on your tablet? You better believe it. Xbox live on your tablet? The possibilites of what Microsoft can and WILL do are just plain scary...

More Cash For Developers

Google and Apple both do the 70/30 split for app developers, but Microsoft will be doing an 80/20 split once any app gets more than 25,000 downloads. This might not seem like a big difference, but for devs who sell very large amounts of apps, it will make a drastic one.

Bottom Line

Microsoft have done their homework, and the end result is looking to actually be not only solid, but extremely dangerous for Android and Apple if they don't stay on their toes. Android will need to do everything it can to keep on innovating and pushing out products that will give people more of a PC'ish experience in the comfort of a tablet, and Microsoft's products will force them to innovate like never before (great for us!). It looks like 2012 is going to be a great year for tablets, and while the giant that is Microsoft has been sleeping for a while, it looks like he's slowly waking up.

3 giants.....3 different systems....3 different choices....

Let the battle begin.....

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Comments

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  • PatPion Feb 15, 2012 Link

    Nice article, thanks. The next year or two is going to be very interesting!

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  • Eric McBride Feb 15, 2012 Link

    I agree. These tablets will debut this year, so Google will really have to stay on their toes and get a Motorola Nexus Tablet out ASAP.

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  • Steven Blum Feb 15, 2012 Link

    Fascinating. I played around with a Nokia Lumia and I absolutely loved the swiping action and found the software incredibly aesthetically-pleasing. I hope Android is paying attention...

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  • Eric McBride Feb 15, 2012 Link

    Indeed Steven. Android is gonna have to really stay on their toes when this hardware hits the market. But its good, cause it forces innovation!!! :-D

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  • Dawar Saify Feb 23, 2012 Link

    I don't agree, android has a powerful share feature, office suites will improve, Internet experience will improve, manufacturers will realize that consumers are missing the physical keyboard. There are some limitations of the processors, but this will also improve and this had to do with power consumption and continuous use and connectivity. perhaps 2 different things are being compared. Even if Microsoft brings full blown Windows 8 to ARM, they will be experimenting, as again power consumption will be high and continuous connectivity is required. Google also has introduced many value added features over the years which we take for granted. Android is open source. I'm not being a fanboy for anyone, each vendor has their strengths. Apple is smooth and clearly of very high quality, Microsoft has the formidable Office, but I don't see Microsoft catching on to the mobile bandwagon of continuous connectivity that fast.

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  • Mexie Mex Feb 23, 2012 Link

    Not sure I entirely agree.

    GDocs is already replacing M$ office on the desktop for lots of people/businesses so that isn't a huge issue.

    Attaching a keyboard? I take it you've not seen the Asus Transformer yet? Not that that matters, I've attached a keyboard to my HTC Desire before with no problems (other than needing an adapter for the USB)

    Devs, Some will, but most of the big players are multi platform now, so I can't see this being an issue either.

    I'm not saying M$ will have *NO* effect, they will (and I hope they as this will force the other players to raise their game), I just can't see them as you do in this article.

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  • Eric McBride Feb 23, 2012 Link

    @Dawar - Office suites will of course improve, and Android has some nice ones. But neither Android nor IOS with all their popularity have managed to turn the masses away from Microsoft Office. Too many people have used it for too long. Im sure Google has something up its sleave with Jellybean to counter what Microsoft is attempting to do. Hopefully they will unveil more info soon.

    @Mexie - My Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 also has a dock. Its not just about plugging in a keyboard. Its about plugging in printers, game controllers, hard disks, ect. Its more the concept of a COMPLETE laptop replacement that makes it appealing, and not soley as a tablet. And yeah, I also agree that this product does push other players to step up their game and push out more great products!

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  • Mexie Mex Feb 23, 2012 Link

    I still disagree with the M$ Office point, if people are being weaned from Office on to GDocs on the desktop, why would it be different for mobile devices? In fact this may well be a devastating blow to M$ Office rather than the other way around.

    I've printed several things from my phone before, it could be streamlined I'll grant you, but it can be done now.

    As for game controllers, I'm at a complete loss LOL I'm not a game player in the slightest, but as long as they are blutooth compatible or have USB I see no reason why they could not work, so I can't see that as a USP for M$.

    Can I also just point out I'm not spoiling for a fight, I'm just airing my views LOL

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  • Eric McBride Feb 23, 2012 Link

    LOL. No problem man! I love hearing the opinions of our readers, and Im glad to see you making your points!

    Sure, Gdocs is great, but I cant use it the entire day at work to get everything done...not in the way I use Microsoft Office (I HATE having to admit that). You can get game controllers to work on tablets as well, but its a hassle, and doesnt always work properly. Its just the market they are targetting thats interesting..its not just would be tablet owners, its would be laptop buyers as well that could benefit from this concept. While I can play some good games on my tablet, without Direct X capability I cant play popular Xbox, PS3, and Widows titles. That will also change with the release of this hardware, as it is in essence a laptop (spec wise, hardware wise, compatibility wise, plug and play wise, ect).

    Lets just hope the rumors are true that Android Jellybean tablets MIGHT be able to boot windows 8!

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  • Gabriel Voinea Feb 24, 2012 Link

    Most of this article is false.
    The truth is that Microsoft completely lost the start to enter the mobile OS market and it will be very difficult to grab any significant market share in the near future.
    Windows 8 for ARM doesn't stand any chance in the fight with Android and iOS, because the existing windows applications won't runt on it unless they are completely rewritten.
    On windows 8 for x86 tablets and smartphones the applications are easy to modify for touchscreen and Microsoft will rule this market, but this market will gain only a small share of the overall mobile market, because of the prohibitive prices for the Intel hardware.

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  • Eric McBride Feb 24, 2012 Link

    Completely false? How so?

    Its no secret that Microsoft lost out in mobile opportunities early on, and their weak sales reflect it. Will it be difficult to grab any significant market share in the near future? Sure it will be, but it WILL happen, and thats due to the fact that they are finally back to releasing products with mass consumer appeal.

    As far as ARM not being able to run existing windows applications on ARM, Microsoft plans to release new versions of MOST of its existing software with Windows 8 (ala Office 15), meaning that what apps need to be rewritten will be kept to a minimum.

    As far as pricing goes, this is what will make or break Microsoft this year (which I stated in the article and in many before). If pricing on their tablets is competitive, their tablets could be a game changer. If they are priced significantly more than iPads or Android Tegra 3 devices, they ll flop.

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  • Dawar Saify Feb 24, 2012 Link

    Don't know Eric, perhaps you have some insider information which you're not telling us, or in the next 2 years Atleast, nothing. Microsoft Windows 8 powered tablets is one thing, but to compare them to Android or IOS and with continuous communication ln 3G, 4G, Atleast not for 2 years minimum. There will be no magic from Microsoft, unless it's giving free hardware, in which case you can count me in.

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  • Eric McBride Feb 24, 2012 Link

    I like where the comments are going! Its crazy, because im not a fan of Microsoft AT ALL. I LOVE my Galaxy 10.1 tab. But having spoke to someone who got their hands on one of these at a convention, and seeing them used myself, its quite honestly SHOCKING how good they performed.

    I dont expect it to go crazy this year and sell a million units. Not by any means. I DO however expect it to be the device that gets the attention of consumers.

    Apparently we will see very soon!

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  • David Lango Feb 25, 2012 Link

    Technology is ever advancing and it amazes me how they keep it up, you'd think it would reach a ceiling. I was reading how physicist have recently placed a phosporous atom precisely and made it work like a transistor, conductors only one atom thick and 4 atoms wide. I'm sure it's in the distant future before such experiments can reach application but I'm intriqued and read all kinds of stuff.

    I'm not biased toward Microsoft either, and presently am trying to figure out what to do about my tiered data plan with AT&T now that I have a Samsung Galaxy S2 skyrocket, rooted it, and flashed a version of cyanogenmod, and use the mobile wifi hotspot feature, and it blows the lid off my data plan in the LTE area of West Los Angeles. The more I show off and let my friends with Iphones see how their handsets run faster, the higher my bill gets.

    I have a point, and it's a star trek idea, hang on...

    As circuits and processors continue to get smaller and faster, hardware can do the same thing. I have resisted the temptation to get that new "keyboard" that is much like a hologram, forget the name, but one can be had if you pony up a couple hundred bucks. That's where I'm going. I saw concept video that expanded that flat keyboard being projected on a table top and it was cool to watch. A real hologram? Is Star Trek actually in our future?

    I have no interest in packing a large tablet around but if it actually had the radio antenna and worked like a cell phone I might actually consider it! I like the big screen on my Samsung handset and am very close to considering an actual computer as a cumbersome peripheral that's only good for hotrodding my phone.

    I am all about this pack it with you idea. And I love my smart phone. It works great, and I use a lot of the features and it has seriously caused me to retain one simple desktop and gave my laptop to my daughter for a college present. My phone is all I need and full internet access is now a reality. Love the 4.65" screen.

    My point is how wristwatches are now out of style for me. I can't see that well, so I want a wristwatch to talk to (I rarely type anything, I use that google search microphone for almost everything now) a wristwatch that can be like a touchpad/keypad/microphone/camera/alarm clock/computer/TELEPHONE that projects a hologram up in broad daylight to view the internet with.

    More power to all the present day players, but I hope I live long enough to see the cool "Dick Tracy" watch thing come into style! Throw my bulky Samsung in the drawer with all my other artifacts!

    Oh and good for Microsoft, and good luck I say with sarcasm. I noted how they won't give windows updates anymore and require you to buy a hundred forty dollar upgrade to Windows 7 instead.

    I'm not a fan of corporate greed and I'm glad Android had to compete with what Steve Jobs invented, and all the mobile smart phone stuff left Microsoft in the dust makes me cheer.

    Anyway, I beg pardon for my idle prattle, and I have no comment on the new tablet replacing the laptop thing, as I'm more into a smaller unit that does more.

    Bottom line is I need a phone, and I think it's cool that I'm close to using my phone as a full on computer and that's where it's at for me. Tablets suck cuz you can't put 'em in your pocket and they won't recieve an ordinary call from a land line.

    I also beg pardon for not even being interested in a tablet. Mostly I beg pardon for rambling so, but I hope my point of view is entertaining.

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  • jeremy c Feb 27, 2012 Link

    Greed is how apple got a worm in its core. Without it, microsoft would be nowhere. When I starting working in IT with green screens, commodore, amiga, and taiwan copies in orange, pear and no names were popular. Small business trying to get into word processing, instead of ibm typewriters, were buying taiwan apple copies.

    Microsoft came with its, literally, disk operating system on a floppy disk and I got it working on those copies. I recall how cumbersome it was. Alwas returned to the apple os.

    Then one day apple decided to sue the pants off those taiwan manufacturers and its the beginning of the end for apple.

    Apple still do not learn. It has not eradicate its greed malware. LOL that's probably why it does not need antivirus. Why would a devil need a security devil to guard itself.

    Apple always be there as a thorn in everybody's side. Android and Microsoft will be everyone's mobile playground. Currently microsoft is waaaayyyy behind. But its a giant with big strides.

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