The general consensus seems to be that we are slowly, but surely, moving towards a truly mobile world. In this new world even laptops are considered old fashioned and not portable enough. We use our smartphones and tablet computers (and HUD glasses if Google is asked) for our computing needs. Laptops are only used very seldom for serious work, such as writing a book or coding Facebook games. Only really serious people such as animators or stockbrokers use desktops. Others consider them antique or in a best-case scenario have never even heard of them. Of course this all is still few years away but the transition has already started. Laptop, tablet computer and smartphone sales are up, whereas desktop sales are down and will continue to be so in the coming years as well. There is no escaping the fact that this transition will eventually happen. How long it will take is just a matter of taste. According to Apple we are already living in a post-PC world.

I started this article by saying that Windows 8 matters. Why? Because it really does. There are people who are so convinced and will do anything to convince you that the post-PC world is already here and the “war” is over. Just like on the famous speech given on the deck of USS Abraham Lincoln there is no truth in this argument. The “war”, if you can call it that, hasn’t in many ways even started yet. So what am I on about? There’s a lot of talk about ecosystems and app stores and the amount of apps in each store etc. Apple is leading; Google’s Android is following (or the other way, depending on what is measured and how). It’s a two horse race and Microsoft is not invited. This is essentially the atmosphere at the moment. But if you really think about it you start to realize that it doesn’t really make any sense.

Android has been a massive success. Which is actually a bit of a surprise but then on the other hand not. Originally Android was supposed to be a BlackBerry type of OS for BlackBerry type of devices i.e. phones with keyboards. Luckily for Google Apple introduced iPhone in 2007 and Google was quick to realise that trying to copy BlackBerry OS was stupid, when you could instead copy the iPhone. So, they changed their “source of inspiration” and introduced the Android that we know and love/hate today. You could well argue that it was in fact Apple that created the demand for Android. Largely Android is the mass-market, Toyota version of the Mercedes-Benz iPhone. Android was not the first on the market but it was the first to offer an alternative to the iPhone. So far, Android has been a major success. However, and maybe even surprisingly, Google has not been able to reproduce the success that it has had with smartphones to tablet computers. When it comes to Android tablets, consumers are just not interested. And I think I know why. Putting it bluntly, I believe the answer is simply that consumers just don’t care about Android. But how can this be? Android smartphones are selling like crazy. My argument is that Android smartphones are selling despite of Android rather than because of Android. When a normal consumer (i.e. not you) walks into a store to buy a new phone that is exactly what they want to buy – a phone. Not an Android phone. They have a rough idea what they want the phone to do; Facebook, web, e-mail, IM, take photos and act as a phone. Oh, and it has to look nice. Then it is up to the sales clerk to sell something that fits these requirements and the customer’s budget. Today that phone in most cases just happens to run on Android. Besides, there seems to be a fundamental difference in how smartphones and tablets are perceived. You could well argue that today the only real differentiator between a smartphone and a tablet computer is the physical size. Yet, smartphones are still generally seen “only” as phones, whereas tablet computers are more-or-less regarded as computers. And this is where Windows steps in.

I wrote in my previous article that both Apple and Microsoft are taking steps to merge their mobile and desktop operating systems in the long run. Apple is approaching this challenge by adding elements from iOS to OS X, whereas Microsoft has boldly decided to revamp Windows in its entirety. Like it or not, but the new Metro UI with its colourful tiles is what you will be using in the future. This is the way 90% of people will be using their computers from now on. If you are a PC or an Xbox user there will be no escaping the tiles. Microsoft will tile up your life for good.

If we really are moving towards a post-PC world then doesn’t that mean that eventually mobile operating systems will replace desktop operating systems? And if so, isn’t it realistic to assume that the fittest, the most popular, the one with the biggest developer support and the largest ecosystem would be the one that would be the most attractive to the consumers also in the future? When comparing together all the operating systems on the market today: Mac OS X has about 5% of the market, iOS has 2%, Linux is at 1% and Android is at just 0.5%. Although iOS and Android seem to be the hot topics of the day, the fact is that Windows with its 90% market share is still dominating the market left, right and center.

With Windows 8 the line between a tablet OS and a computer OS is not just blurred, it’s gone. Just think about it. If we really are moving towards a post-PC world, wouldn’t that mean that all the millions of PCs from countless different manufacturers, offered at every possible price point and sold literally everywhere would in the future, more or less, be replaced by tablet computers? Is there anything that would suggest that around 90% of these computers would not be continuing to ship with Windows?

Windows 8 will likely hit Apple in the face, but Apple being Apple they will get over it. They have more money in the bank than most countries, which will keep them feeling pretty good about themselves. Apple can keep doing what they do and leave world domination plans to Microsoft. The unfortunate victim in preserving the status quo is Google. They’ve had years to find a way to catch up with Apple but have essentially come up with nothing. That’s too bad for Google because Windows 8 will most likely kill Android on tablets for good. Unlike Apple and Microsoft, Google has no desktop OS market share that it could benefit from and that it could try to convert into tablet users. Being free probably won’t help Android either. Just think about Linux and how well the “being free” has worked out for it. Android’s future as anything more than a smartphone OS is therefore very questionable indeed. It might even be that overtime having just a smartphone OS is simply not enough. Apple will continue to have a strong ecosystem that covers both smartphones and computers (i.e. tablets) and so will Microsoft. If consumers really do not choose an Android device because of its operating system but for other reasons, it means that the device could just as well be sporting some other OS. Then why not go with something familiar? Say, something that you are already accustomed to in your computer or home entertainment system? With Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 Microsoft makes answering these two questions very simple to a huge amount of people.

With Windows 8 Microsoft is essentially changing the name of the game and showing it is not kidding around. It’s no longer iOS, Android, Windows Phone but Windows versus the rest. Welcome to the post post-PC era.

[EDIT] Click the link below to check out the amazing comments and join the discussion!

[EDIT II] One of my favorite sites, All About Windows Phone, has published their take on the article on their site. Go check it out!  >> AAWP

 

80 Responses to Why Windows 8 matters and why Android will eventually just fade away.

  1. The way I see it Ville you’re about 97% on target so I won’t quibble with your analysis. ;)

    In summary you’re definitely right on one count: consumers don’t care about operating systems. They care about the user experience. That’s it. A user experience can be highly successful on one platform and completely fail on another. The user contexts HAVE to be considered when scaling and/or repurposing OS/UX/UI. It can’t be a simple matter of “oh, I’ll have the OS detect the form factor and make a few adjustments”. Clear recipe for failure.

    Microsoft is *trying* with Windows 8. But so far in the Preview I see trouble for certain form factors, particularly desktop. Yes, that market is shrinking FAST down to certain power users (I’m one: audio, graphics and solid modeling) but we still need to be supported. What I suspect is that Microsoft realizes this and will do the following: avoid targeting the desktop with Win 8 for now and keep the focus on Windows 7 there for the time being.

    I did a Windows 8 Preview test drive that you might be interested in. It’s a bit unusual, in that it has a “hacker” slant, but I think my findings (and those I linked in) are worth sharing: http://post404.com/2012/03/test-drive-windows-8-consumer-preview/

    Please read and comment! Thanks. And keep up the great writing.

  2. Ville Aho says:

    Thank you Randall! I can always count on you for great comments. I think you could say that 97% of people don’t care about operating systems. That three percent being hardcore Apple fans and all the Linux geeks. ;)

    I think Symbian and BlackBerry have shown us that people are not at all faithful to the OS but rather easily move around to where the grass is the greenest. At the moment that’s iOS and Android but that can change rather rabidly. So, I would say that in fact the OS matters deeply, up until something better comes along. ;)

  3. xxon says:

    Windows Vista was a largely failed attempt from Microsoft to copy Apple’s Mac OS X.

    Zune was Microsoft’s failed attempt to copy Apple’s iPod.

    Windows Phone is ultimately Microsoft’s failed attempt to copy Apple’s iPhone.

    Microsoft products will never thrive in environments that lack Microsoft’s monopoly.

    Windows 8 will fail to catch on tables because better alternatives are available for consumers. It will also be a massive flop on desktop as old time Windows will struggle with it’s terrible user experience with mouse and keyboard. You can’t just throw away user interface paradigms which people have relied to for decades. Just like most people skipped Vista and upgraded from XP to 7 they will shun Windows 8.

    see: http://gs.statcounter.com/#os-ww-monthly-200807-201204

    There is no 3rd ecosystem in the post-PC world and there will never be.

  4. leventebandi says:

    I see it in an other aspect.
    Let’s start something which is loosely (but if we think about, probaby not so loosely) connected to the post. I want to speak about the overwhelmingly missuse of the term, PC. (yep, the fhing what started it, was probably the I’m a Mac, I’m a PC spot). Many talking about a post PC world, but HEY! Even tablets are PCs and every computer too, even what has got an apple logo on their backs. There are many many articles, since the release of the first jesusPad. about “Tablets/iPad killing of laptops” and similar themes, but they miss a point. Tablets in the near future/coming years (I bet minimum 3-4 years) won’t have nearly the same computing power as a desktop or a laptop computer(mainly because of power consumption), and it’s a very big factor, which can limit the using aspects of a device. And the other factor’s that there are, and there will be tasks which are comfortable to do on a desktop system, with the traditional interfaces, and there are, and will be tasks which will be comfortable with a tablet. In my opinion, the process is not about one killing the other of, but about that the 2-3 main computing “style ” is merging and evolving into a big mass and the borderlines are yet blurred away (just for example the transformer series of asus or the eee slider)

    And we arrived to my second thought, which is more ontopic.
    One of the cornerstone of the post, that W8 will be so good, and well received, that the Android marketshare will suffer a deadly impact.
    But I’m really, really not sure about this. Let’s see why:
    First of all, that(if it would) won’t be a so quick downturn like the agony and death of Nokia which is still in progress. And here comes sg which is clear, that El Goog was far more flexible than Microsoft in recent years when was about adopting trends, even those which were predictable. This factor and an other very important factor clearly seen on the WP story.
    After one and a half year of the first consumer device release it is failing to make any serious impact, with a market share below anything.(fun fact, in 2011 even windows phone classic(maiden name: Windows Mobile 6.5 ), – which is only available for purpose made enterprise devices since 2010 Q3 – outsold the new, fancy OS) In return rates, the moses devices of the WP (nokia lumias) broke the in house negative record for return rates.
    Wonder why every MS people only brags about the number of apps in the marketplace (which has nearly nothing to do with real qualities of a platform, because over a level the most of apps usualy rubbish fart apps and fancy readers for blogs. In every store, from Google PLay store to Apple Appstore)
    and not about the devices sold. We’ve never heard them bragging about how skyrocketing the sales. And it has an other cause over the company’s flexibility: PR and Marketing, which in MS is, let’s face it: rubbish. Yeah I know, mainly the vendors or hw makers should make the mayority of this, but for reason they don’t push it hard(yep nokia is the “black sheep” in this, they do push it hard, but they choose to bet their survival on the succes of this platform. Even with that they couldn’t make a real good campaign. There were some nice spots about runnin’ women in France, but sg what looks good on yt not sure will perform in it’s main task) Even RIM did better job.
    For example how many celebrities you see using WP(do not laugh, It’s a very important customer opininion former aspect)
    As I remember no one. Oh wait, Heikki Kovalainnen, who is using a Lumia which was sent from Mr. Elop himself. (there was a photo that he received a letter in the devices box which was written by Stephen)
    And so on.
    And there is what you and Texrat said, that consumers don’t care about OS, they care about user experience. As I see this is true for phones, but not fully. it’s really a mixed thing, because they care about what they see advertised heavily too. And I see too, that people connect tablets to desktop or laptop more than mobiles, and bc of this, they care about the OS a bit more than with mobiles. They will see a wide range when they go into a store and try to select what they going to buy. There will be the iPads, which established a so big fame in peoples minds, that my seven inch tab called iPad many times from not so techy people (who are the next market for the tablets). They will know, it’s the best but they will see the fact to that it is a bit pricey. There will be then some windows tablets. Here comes the big paradigm of Windows name: People connect it so hard to the usual desktop computing, that they need an abstraction from that view. And let’s face it: people don’t love user experience on win. I like the W7, best and most stable desktop OS ever made, but the general view is that windows is sluggish and not comfortable. And there will be the Android, which is so pushed from the media, that it’s coming from my bathroom tip if i open it. And there will be a thought that it’s better suited for tablet use than any windows(an that’s true)
    Because, – and here I will look at Google’s tablet world – if we look at what is the problem, with the droid tablets, we will see that this is easily solveable and solved in the latest main release(ICS)
    The sluggishness is solved at last in ICS, people rant about lagging menu and like that, and this was the cause for introducing hardware accelerated UI in ICS.
    There is the fragmentation. Every honeycomb tab will be updated to ICS, and the phones mainly on 2.3. Froyo(2.2) and below there are very few devices.
    The real problem is the lameness of the hw providers. Sadly I see it, as a heavy user (= I’ve got no seperate phone at all, this 3G tablet is my tablet and my smartphone in one device) when I try to search for something that worth to switch I see very very cool devices, but every tablet has something which kills it. For example: There’s the ACER A101 Iconia Tab. Glamorous device, 7 inch tablet with Honeycomb, and everything is fine, till I reach the bottom of the spec sheet or the review. Usually there is the battery test or data, and we can see that acer put a 1500mAh battery in it. To compare my P1000 Galaxy Tab has got an 4000mAh bat. and It can be a bit little, with 3-4 hours of continous browsing over wifi or 3g. So won’t be hard to predict that a dual core system with biger power consumption with a phone battery what will do… I don’t like to say it but now (and that was half a year ago too sadly) and it seems to be that in the near future too, samsung makes far the best tablets in the droid team.
    I think nobody will fade away, there will be a diversity, a healthy diversity. But don’t chase fairy tales, MS has a hard way to go if they want to be the 3rd ecosystem, because even WP is only the 5th ecosystem…

    • Ville Aho says:

      Wow man, just WOW! Now, thats a reply! Thank you!

      Of course it’s clear without saying that I disagree with you, but so what. That’s what discussion and changing ideas is all about.

      One point: at the beginning you were talking about Windows but at the end you concluded by comparing Android and Windows Phone 8. I’m not saying that WP will “defeat” anything. My point is that mobile operating systems such as Android will not be able to compete with Windows 8 as it pushes to their turf. You can’t just dismiss the 90% marketshare that Windows has. You need to be realistic. Windows 8 does not have to perfect in order to succeed. Just think about Windows ME or Vista. Tablets are the new PCs and I don’t see anything that would suggest that those new PCs would not keep running on Windows. Consumers buy what is available and that will be a Windows 8 tablet at every store from here to Mars.

      My point is that we need to stop seeing this matter as iOS Vs Android Vs Windows Phone. And start seeing it as Windows Vs the rest. Windows is by far the biggest ecosystem ever and will continue to be so also after market has transformed from desktops and laptops to tablets.

      Why would you buy a “lite” OS tablet, which would require you to also own a PC – when you could buy a real full-blown Windows tablet for, probably, less the money?

      • leventebandi says:

        I see your point and I can’t say you’re not true. But. Till Windows tablets won’t offer dramatically more computing power, they will be limited to some productivity tasks, and mainly content consuming. But in near future, won’t be counterpart of the 2 other style, in accessible price.(yes now it could be achieved but no one would pay nearly 2000 dollars for a tablet.). Windows can be the same full-blown Windows, but you need to have the same hardware power. So whose got a desktop or laptop, won’t change it for a tablet if she or he uses it as an equipment for hier/his work. Yet.
        Yes W8 still can be the big next thing, I agree, that the potential is there.
        Yes there is that 90% of market share. But don’t overestimate it, because, yes it’s a huge and massive thing, but nowadays, the adanced multiplatform(from DLNA to Google Docs) and cloud solutions are lessening the effect of it. Yes it’s there and nothing can shrink it’s effect to a level where it seems to be minor, but if we look at the patterns, the price tag what will be on the w8 tablets will target those who could afford a smartphone. This is likely will be an android phone, because if we think about it, who is interested in tablets and has iPhone, likely bought or will buy an iPad(Apple is magnificent in customer loyality). So those who’s got an android, and use it with contentment will ask himself wether go for a droid tablet, where he can use his programs bought on market, and use a similar UX like on his phone, meanwhile there will be a W8 tablet with a very different UX what he experienced on the desktop. Yes i don’t want to make a square out of a circle so yes, you can reveal the usual windows UX, but let’s be honest, To use it on a capacitive digitizer, without an hTc Flyer/Galaxy Note type stylus magic, can be real pain.
        I think, after the release, there will be a critical half a year. Many things will depend on what will be the echo in media, the reviews. These are really forming the consumer.
        Next thing is, what will be the quality of the tablet optimized programs and the number of quality apps at launch. Mainly bc the thing i wrote earlier. If the user need to be switch back to the normal UX instead of the metro, it will ruin the experience.
        The last thing what comes to my mind, that price tag I mentioned. This will be high from one aspect. the sub 150$ tablets are, who making and will make the biggest impact (yep the third world and central-east europe). And because the demanding HW and the min requirement, there wont be W8 tablet in 1-2 years for that market .

        Yes the opportunity is there, but I think if MS will do the next thing, it will be the W9. People need to accomodate to the new metro UX, and this will hardly go quick as, on desktop there won’t be as highly penetrated change, as when the W7 came out, because of the lack of real changes (from laptop / desktop aspect) between the two release. And if there’s no change on desktop, people will just slowly experience and get used to the new, Metro styled windows. The true exploit of the 90% can be achieved with the Windows 9. But the guys and Cupertino and the Google HQ won’t sleep either. I don’t say the 90% is in warning, but they can dim more it’s effect with good strategy.

        • Ville Aho says:

          Naturally this transition, like any transitions, will take time. But it will be a natural transition just like it has been since Windows 1.0. Hardware will improve, form factors will evolve but the OS will stay the same. Windows 8 will be just the first step in this long transition. It will introduce Metro to the masses and make it just as natural as the Windows desktop is today.

          Like I said, Apple is Apple and they will find their place in the market but I’m anything but sure about Android. I just don’t see it happening. Android on tablets has so far been a huge let down.

    • “post desktop dominance”, then. ;)

  5. Timo Koola says:

    Ville, thanks for the article. However, I think you are wrong. :)

    I think you underestimate the force of the paradigm change and therefore misread the signals. This is how I see how the story goes:

    - Mobile will be the main form of computing because of its unique strengths and superb usability. People will also spend much more of their time on mobile than on PC
    - Tablets will continue to replace traditional PCs because of the much better usability and performance in the same price range at least as media consumption devices. (Just try to use laptop that cost the same as cheapest iPad and you’ll see why). Tablets will also continue to destroy dedicated gadgets such as game consoles.
    - PCs will stay around for the office hours. Replacement cycle will get longer and growth will stagnate.
    - PC will not be the center of the universe. People want to access their (cloud) services regardless of time and place. Going through PC is a chore like going to an airport. People just don’t want to do that. In Western world people will use “cloud”, elsewhere people will swap content over BT, memory cards and so forth.

    If we treated PC+Smartphone+Tablet as one market Microsoft would be in decline while Google and Apple growing strongly. Also Google and Apple would be strongest there where the growth is and MS actually losing in the growth markets.

    Because Mobile > Tablet > PC in people’s minds, PC market shares will be pretty much meaningless when trying to predict who will win the market. Also, people don’t want their mobiles nor tablets to be more like PCs. If anything they would like PCs be more like tablets in terms of performance and ease of use. If people really wanted the features of Windows on their tablets, they would have made devices like HP Slate huge successes. Also, if being cozy with PCs was a really something consumers wanted, Windows Mobile in its earlier incarnations should have easily fended off Symbian which had terrible relationship with the desktop.

    Here is what I think will happen 2012-2013: Windows 8 tablets will fail to make a dent in the market. Apple with its cash arsenal will control the component market. W8 tablet with similar specs than iPad will be more expensive and in terms of apps (=services) W8 will be worse off. Compared to Android W8 comes with a licensing cost and if mobile market is any guidance also higher integration cost for OEMs.

    In mobile Windows Phone also fails to make meaningful advances in markets. WP7 is yesterday’s HW with less apps. Will WP8 change that? Will WP8 change the speed of iteration of the platform? At the current pace Android world can spit out 2-3 generation of devices in the time frame WP only gets out 1 generation. It is a terrible place to be when you are already behind and late to the party. In many ways WP didn’t make problems MS (and later Nokia) had in mobile market go away, but actually worse.

    In PC world, because Windows 7 is good enough and HW replacement cycle is getting longer W8 will penetrate the market rather slowly. Any possible integration plans with mobile and PC W8 will be hampered by the fact that many people will just not be in W8 2013 or even 2014.. They will however replace smartphone twice before the end of 2014. Will “likeness” to desktop be a factor when selecting a mobile? It isn’t that today, unless there is something very drastic happens, won’t be that in 2013 or 2014.

    • Ville Aho says:

      Thanks Timo! I’d be shocked if you didn’t disagree with me! ;)

      Truth to be told, it seems that we’re actually pretty much on the same page. We just see the outcome of the transition differently. You think that the transition is so drastic that people are willing to go out of their normal ways, whereas I see it as more of a natural continuum.

      I agree that consumers don’t want their tablets to be like PCs today, but isn’t that exactly what Windows 8 is designed for? To help consumers to, slowly but steadily, move from old desktop environment to the new touch interface without losing anything.

      Apple is Apple and therefore very unpredictable because of the fanatic user group and the $100B in the bank. That’s why I have concentrated on Android. I think you’re putting a lot of trust on Android on tablets. There are no signs whatsoever that consumers would be interested in that. IPad yes, but Android? They’ve had years to perfect their strategy but at the end of they day it’s still a dud.

      I think you’re overestimating the customers and underestimating the Windows ecosystem. Maybe it’s because the Windows ecosystem is so huge and therefore self-explanatory that we fail to even see it. I think it’s very dangerous to assume that a change of this magnitude would happen overnight or that Windows, the de facto standard, would just vanish. Consumers are not educated by nature. They need to be taught. By nature consumers are reluctant towards change. It took them this long to accept the idea of a tablet. When they now walk in to a store to buy a new computer and see two identical devices side-by-side: one running Android that is unfamiliar and the other running Windows that is very familiar, which one do you think they’ll choose?

      I think you’re looking this all through a pair of very well educated geek’s glasses, which is what the normal consumers just don’t have.

    • I mostly disagree on one prediction you make Timo: I think Windows 8 tablets will overtake Android tablets, easily, largely due to business adoption.

      • Timo Koola says:

        I just wonder whether:
        a) there is a corporate tablet market (i.e. IT department deciding what to buy and support)? If so, why BB Playbook bombed so horribly in the market?
        b) whether business tablet market will in Western world be bigger than China/India tablet market (owned by Android)?
        c) whether Windows 8 will own that market the way Windows PCs own the current business market?

        • Ville Aho says:

          I think you just demonstrated the difference in our thinking. To me tablet market and Windows PC market are one and the same thing.

          (Playbook bombed because it was rubbish and you couldn’t do anything with it.)

          • Timo Koola says:

            Still, even if they are the same or different market question remains: why would Windows tablets be successful this time? Windows success in PCs has not transformed to success in tablets or phones ever before.

          • Timo Koola says:

            Something being rubbish and unusable doesn’t mean it won’t be bought by the IT departments. :) Have you seriously seen what kind of crap any big corp. IT first buys and then tries to shove down users’ throats?

  6. Niclas says:

    Windows 8 matters less and less. What matters is the apps and the browser and Apple got them both right.

    Intel matters less and less as most people have moved to ARM outside the office. Microsoft needs to show that W8 is relevant on ARM, with a new user interface it probably matters less, even if it is better.

    Price matters and today Droid comes for free, if the patent situation doesn’t change.

    We will see if Nokia can survive on WP. Building a system from zero takes a lot of money, maybe more than Nokia has.

    • Ville Aho says:

      Hi Niclas. Thanks for your comment and welcome to the site!

      Honestly it is way too early to say how much Windows 8 will eventually matter. At the moment it isn’t even released yet. I’m declined to believe that Android would be better just because it’s supposedly free. Just look at Linux.

      Remember that Nokia doesn’t really need to have the cash to build the WP ecosystem. It’s essentially Microsoft’s job. All they really need to accomplish is to make it good enough so that Samsung, HTC and others will start to take it more seriously. Including the carriers.

      As far as I know Windows 8 on ARM will only support Metro, which I think is really good news. Apple has shown that consumers are willing to pay for quality so I don’t believe Windows licensing fees will to pose any problems.

      All that we can now do is to wait and see whether Microsoft can pull this off and not screw it up. The potential is there.

    • Scientificbob says:

      Apple does not have “the apps and the browser” any more right then any other OS builder.

      I think that’s quite a meaningless statement.

      The fact of the matter is that Apple is not at all interested in building a tablet that can actually fully replace your desktop or laptop… For the simple reason that they want you to also buy a mac and macbook. It really is that simple.
      They don’t really believe that it’s a “third category device”. That’s just an obvious marketing scheme to make you believe that you also need a mac.

      Here comes microsoft… blatantly saying “there isn’t a single reason why your tablet couldn’t also be your laptop or desktop”.
      It’s all about the software anyway.

      Dockingstations, HDMI outputs, physical keyboards and mice… all these things can be used to transform your 10 inch tablet into a beast with 2 30 inch monitors.

      I also heavily agree with the author of this article that “the war” hasn’t even started yet.

      Did you know, for example, that since the first introduction of the ipad, msft has seen more then 500 million licenses of windows 7 being activiated?

      In the same period, Apple has sold like… what, 55 million ipads?

      What war? Microsoft is still preparing the ICBM’s while Google and Apple are occupying not even 5% of the actual potential field. And the media (=apple?) is trying to make it look as if Apple won the war allready?

      That’s just ridiculous in my view.

      I mean… numbers don’t lie. And the fact of the matter is that the amount of ipads sold is ridiculously low if we are talking about a “post-pc world” where mobile devices are supposed to replace laptops and desktops (which an ipad, or any other tablet currently available, isn’t even capable of doing btw!).

      Here’s a nice fact that I like to state in these discussions:

      If windows 8 fails just as hard as windows vista… then BOTH android and ios will be instantly burried under 175 million windows 8 devices.

      The fact of the matter is that for Apple to continue to be “market leader” in the tablet space and for google to remain in second place… windows 8 needs to be the worst selling windows EVER.

      Looking at the massive adoption of windows 8 CP (DOUBLE of windows 7 beta!!), I think it’s safe to say that this simply is not gonna happen.

      Apple and google are in for certain death in 2013 (“death” meaning: seeing their market share drop to an all-time low and stand by watching how msft and win8 will eat up the market).

      Windows 8 doesn’t even need to be a big hit (for msft standards) for that to happen. Not at all.

      • Ville Aho says:

        Thank you Bob for the scientific comment! And welcome to the site.

        Good stuff! Glad to hear that I’m not alone with my thoughts. ;)

      • Timo Koola says:

        Windows have been offered in tablet variants, I don’t know for sure but at least 10 different iterations. It have failed to gain any market traction irregardless of Windows desktop monopoly. Why would it be any different this time? iOS already owns home tablet market in Western world. IT departments are getting more accustomed to BYOD. And when people get to choose, they select iPad. iPad gets to reign at least 3 following quarters almost alone. Will it be way too late to Win 8 tablets too make a splash in 2013?

        • Ville Aho says:

          You can’t really compare Windows 8 and Windows XP touch as they’re so completely different. Also the hw has been far from what tablets are now.

          To me tablet (iPad) is still a novelty. I expect Windows 8 tablets to change this.

          • Timo Koola says:

            Windows XP touch has the benefits of being an actual PC, extendable with mice, external hard drives, 30″ screens and come with full desktop apps. Wasn’t that suppose to be a killer advantage?

        • Scientificbob says:

          “Windows have been offered in tablet variants”

          1. windows xp tablet edition actually did quite well for what it was meant and is still being used today in quite a few enterprises (and this was 10 years ago)

          2. if you can’t see the difference between a HP installing windows 7 on a laptop without a keyboard and an actual windows 8 device, then frankly… you don’t have anything relevant to say about this topic.

          “Why would it be any different this time?”

          Have you actually seen windows 8 in action?
          Because that’s a really bizarre question if you did.

          “iOS already owns home tablet market in Western world”

          If you call 1 person in 100 (if it is that much) owning such a tablet “owning the market”… then you are easily satisfied. Or just brainwashed by apple and their media puppets.

          “IT departments are getting more accustomed to BYOD”

          I’m an IT consultant and software engineer. I visit another company at least once a month. NOT ONCE did I EVER encounter an admin that allowed foreign devices on their network. NOT ONCE.

          The only thing I have seen is a wireless network – completely seperate from the actual corporate network – that people can use for their smartphone or whatever. And not once was this work related.

          “when people get to choose”

          NOT ONCE did I EVER encounter a company which employed more then 5 people where the users got to choose what device/computer they want to use.

          “Will it be way too late to Win 8 tablets too make a splash in 2013″

          No.

  7. Timo Koola says:

    Just to share somewhat related Asymco article about when and how tablets will overcome traditional form factor PCs:
    http://www.asymco.com/2012/03/02/when-will-the-tablet-market-be-larger-than-the-pc-market/

    Windows market share (of new installations) will not be 97% at the end of 2013 even if we don’t count smartphones as PCs.

    • Scientificbob says:

      If I had a dollar for every time somebody predicted that windows will go down, I’ld be as rich as freaking Ballmer.

      The fact of the matter is that predictions like this are wild guesses at best.

      We’ve seen the downfall of windows be predicted countless times before, all the way back to the rainbow colored iMacs in 1998.

      Remember what I said in my first post here…
      For Apple to remain market leader in tablet space, windows 8 needs to be the WORST selling windows in history.

      Looking at adoption rate of the beta, which is double that of windows 7 (the best selling OS in history of computing), it’s pretty safe to assume that this simply is not gonna happen.

      If it “flops” like windows vista… it will sell 175 million times. That’s 3 times as much as there are ipads at the moment.

      I think people make a BIG mistake trying to write off windows/microsoft just because Apple had some success.

      • Ville Aho says:

        Thank you Scientificbob for sharing your knowledge on the matter with us. I really appreciate it.

        The tech industry is a very unique market when compared to pretty much any other market. It consists of consecutive cycles where the variation between up’s and down’s can be significant. Just look at Apple. At one moment the company is thriving, then suddenly it’s almost facing a bankruptcy and two decades later it’s back up as the biggest company in the world with $100 billion in cash.

        Who ever says that they can predict the future of tech market is either lying or even more worryingly totally ignorant. These predictions are nothing more than educated guesses at best. Just like this very article.

        Even the companies operating on the market have difficulties of making valid predictions. Just look at Google: The Verge: Google wanted to sell 10m Android tablets a year in 2011, have 33 percent marketshare.

        • Scientificbob says:

          Indeed, I agree mostly.

          Back in the day, people would have laughed at you as well if you said that IBM was not the future.

          However, I also think that some predictions have more merrit then others.

          Being a software engineer and consultant myself, I’m very confident that the Apple of today is really, really, really not going to be replacing microsoft any time soon – or even hurt them in a significant way. Not a chance.

          Apple is pretty expensive and it’s a completely vendor-locked ecosystem. It’s a sealed island in the entire ecosystem of computing. No enterprise in its right mind is going to switch to apple and be dependend on a SINGLE company for all their soft- and hardware needs. Not a chance.

          Google is also not a suitable candidate for “replacing” microsoft. Google wants to run everything in a browser – not gonna happen (security, privacy and overall performance). Google also allows waaaay to much freedom on manufacturers, which is the cause of heavy fragmentation on Android.

          So… what alternative is there? None.

          To me, it’s as simple as that.

          The only thing that could, imo, be an actual threat to microsoft is if Apple decouples OS X and iOs from their own hardware.

          If they would allow companies like Dell, HP, Toshiba, Lenobo, etc to build macs… And if they succeed in providing viable alternatives to typical msft business solutions like active directory and whatnot… Then microsoft will have to deliver. And deliver fast and hard.

          But until that happens, I don’t see how the present situation is going to change. At all.

          Fun to think about and discuss though :-)

          In the end, we all are gonna have to wait and see.
          I, for one, am eagerly awaiting a nice quad core win 8 device with a docking station :-)

          • Timo Koola says:

            I think you are missing the point here. It is not whether someone/something will replace Windows on desktops (not gonna happen).

            Question is will PC be the primary form of computing for people in the future? And will Windows *grow* to be relevant in future computing platforms: smartphone, tablets, cloud services? Microsoft has no advantage on those platforms and isn’t even number two on any of those markets. 175 million installations is less than existing installations of iOS and Android out there now.

          • Scientificbob says:

            You raise a good point. But that wasn’t quite what I meant.

            I’ll try to put it differently…
            Just answer this question: what device is actually capable to replace a laptop or desktop, for 100%, without compromise?
            1. win8 tablet
            2. ipad
            3. android tablet

            The answer, off course, is 1: the win8 tablet.
            It’s pretty ironic that apple is always talking about the “post-pc era” while pointing to iOs, while iOs is not at all capable of actually handling the usecases pc’s are needed for (and with pc, I mean the general term – not just windows machines).

            So, if the future of computing is actually the tablet, then -as it stands now- it seems as if there is only one viable candidate to actually dominate the “post-pc era”… and it’s the usual suspect.

            You see, iOs and Android are phone OS’s that were thrown unto a tablet. These are not viable solutions to take the place (in full) of actual computers. It delivers fun and easy to use consumption devices for sure… But if we are moving to a “post pc era”, then those things will not do. Not even by a long shot.

            I agree that tablets will become as common as laptops in the future. In fact, I’ld say that tablets are a logical evolution from laptops, just as laptops were an evolution from desktops.

            Here’s the bottom line for me:
            Apple and Google created an OS for giant smartphones.
            Microsoft created an OS for small computers.

            • Ville Aho says:

              ” In fact, I’ld say that tablets are a logical evolution from laptops, just as laptops were an evolution from desktops.”

              This is basically why I think Windows will eventually prevail. It represents a natural continuum. It makes moving from a laptop to a tablet just as natural as moving from a desktop to a laptop. Normal consumers (i.e. not us) will never even think about these things. They just go with what feels natural and in majority of cases that will be a tablet running on Windows.

            • Broc says:

              To begin with, I agree with your line of thinking. But I would like your take on the question of “Do businesses/consumers need or want all that windows 8 has to offer? I love windows 8 and think it’s amazing. But I have been floored by how quickly consumers, and most recently businesses, have been finding ways to use ipads in their lives. iOS is limited, but that doesn’t seem to matter. People like it, and therefore find ways to put it into their work flow. The answer to your question is a windows 8 device, but maybe that isn’t the right question to ask when trying to predict future computer usage patterns. If apple has proven anything, it’s that people would rather have simple than feature sets. People are willing to compromise.

  8. Timo Koola says:

    Grrh, wrote “now advantage” instead of “no advantage”.

    (*EDIT* Fixed it -Ville)

  9. Graham says:

    I agree, and make an argument that goes hand-in-hand with this one in an article on TheNextWeb. Check it out if you’re interested: http://thenextweb.com/insider/2012/04/24/screw-the-naysayers-why-i-just-bought-nokia/

  10. Mentis says:

    Among Big screen (7 inch or more) OS still windows rules. IPad is far second.

  11. Ville Aho says:

    Broc: Good to see you here, welcome!

    That’s an interesting question. I think the interest towards iPads that companies have had, has had more to do with interest towards the new form factor and ease-of-use than iOS or iPad per se. And as Windows still dominates in enterprises it would be safe to assume that this same “need” could just as well be satisfied with a Windows 8 tablet. In a matter of fact, I think W8 offers a much more natural way for enterprise to introduce tablets than an iPad (not to mention Android) at least if the ICT people are asked.

    I think that the interest towards tablets just shows how ready we are, as consumers, for this new form factor. And it’s easy to see why. It once again brings as a step closer to the content and helps us to interact with it with a much more natural way.

  12. Ville Aho says:

    Mentis and Graham thank you for your comments and welcome!

    I urge everyone to read Graham’s article on TNW. It’s a really great read and offers an interesting viewpoint.

  13. website says:

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  14. Ville Aho says:

    Very interesting post from a developer’s perspective posted here: “Shocker: Windows 8 is an Android killer” http://www.kernelmag.com/comment/opinion/2432/no-but-for-reals/

  15. Rayappan says:

    With Windows 8 the line between a tablet virus and a computer virus is not just blurred, it’s gone!

  16. Mark Wilcox says:

    It’s too early to tell how it will pan out but Microsoft is running scared of becoming irrelevant in the mobile transition and because of that taking the biggest risk in company history by completely re-designing the UI of their core product. Not just giving the new UI to people to try with a fall back to the old comfortable one but forcing them to learn the new one by removing the start menu from the Win7 emulation (which is how most people navigate Windows). Of course if they didn’t do something radical they’d be doomed to irrelevance, since the current Windows UI is useless for tablets and smartphones, however by going this far they might just alienate the corporate IT market, which a major pass on the update from companies everywhere…

    Assuming people will just buy another PC (including tablets) with Windows because you can’t see why they wouldn’t just means you haven’t thought about it enough yet. :)

    Why do people buy desktops and notebooks with Windows now? Because Microsoft has all the manufacturers in a corner. There is no other consumer friendly(ish) OS that they can license and M$ forces them to stay exclusive with all kinds of slightly shady business practices. So you can have a very expensive shiny Mac, a Windows machine or variant of Linux. Pretty easy choice for most, particularly as it’s really quite hard to buy a desktop/notebook without paying for Windows as part of the deal, so the free Linux OS doesn’t work out cheaper. This is what monopolies are all about.

    Look at the tablet situation… IF Microsoft had been ahead of the game and got the desktop OS into a tablet friendly state before everyone started buying tablets, then this would be an advantage. However, as it is, consumers now need to learn a new UI whatever they choose. So why would they go with Windows by default? Certainly not because it’s the only option. So then there’s a choice based on price, UI preference, reputation/marketing factors etc.

    Price is going to be a massive factor. If the Surface tablet comes in above the price of an iPad (as rumoured), it’s going to fail, Microsoft don’t have the branding, design or even 3rd party software support that Apple have (and poor battery life for the Intel version with more software support). If it’s below an iPad, then it’s competing with Android tablets. I can guarantee it’s not going to be cheaper than a Nexus 7, so it’s then a trade-off. How much better is the Microsoft offering than the Android tablets? Is it worth the extra cost?

    I’m not a big fan of Android tablets so far, but Jelly Bean looks like a decent update and Google are likely to continue to be able to iterate much faster than Microsoft.

    Microsoft have undoubtedly massively pissed off their OEM partners by launching their own hardware, so they’ll be taking a serious look at alternatives, while Google have scared the OEMs by buying Motorola. The difference is that Google can continue to play pretty fair with all the OEMs because it doesn’t need to sell all the devices to make money. However, @asymco makes a very good argument that Microsoft now does need to build an integrated solution to maintain their profitability. The model that worked for their world dominance with commoditised hardware from dozens of OEMs and expensive software doesn’t stack up well against Apple’s model in terms of profits right now: Who will be Microsofts Tim Cook

    It’s easy to look at the numbers for the Windows installed base and wonder how that can go away but what fraction of users really need a desktop/laptop? For households that have tablet and laptop/desktop, what fraction of usage time is spent on each? I don’t have hard stats yet but anecdotally tablet usage totally dominates once one arrives in the household, to the point that Windows hardly ever gets fired up any more. Why would users (outside the tech world) pay to upgrade to Windows 8 for their existing computer and then have to learn the new interface? Microsoft is already making it the cheapest upgrade I’ve ever seen and I suspect it will get cheaper.

    Metro’s first outing on WP7 has been a total disaster with the market. Returns are incredibly high and sales massively below expectations. In fact given the marketing budget behind WP7 and the massive discounts on devices it’s utterly incredible that they haven’t managed to shift at least 5 times as many. That doesn’t really bode well for Windows 8 – it really doesn’t matter how good the product is technically if people don’t like it. Lack of a decent games library on WP7 (thanks to no native code) is definitely a big handicap that’ll be fixed in WP8 but that can’t be the whole story.

    Personally I think Metro is OK and Win 8 will probably do better than Vista, but not massively – I really doubt they’ll overtake Apple in tablets. However, I really disliked Metro when I first tried it and first impressions are really important. There is a massive opportunity for Microsofts competitors right now.

  17. Ville Aho says:

    Thank you Sir! I respect your analysis. Naturally I disagree with you but that’s what makes this all so exciting! I think you are putting too much confidence on average Joe here. People are slaves to their habits. Familiarity has a much bigger power than geeks like you and me can even grasp.

    Metro’s first outing on WP7 has been a total disaster with the market. Returns are incredibly high and sales massively below expectations

    If this is true, which I doubt, it’s completely new news to me.

    And btw, Android tablets (excluding Kindle) are already dead in the water. Wouldn’t you agree?

    • Mark Wilcox says:

      Lack of familiarity is the core of my argument though. There’s almost nothing familiar about Metro to users of Win XP, Vista or 7.

      The returns are new news? Really? You don’t have any disgruntled Nokia contacts eager to tell you how badly it’s going? Elop himself has said Lumia sales have been below expectations, Nokia results speak for themselves on how badly. Returns in the region of 20% last I heard.

      • Ville Aho says:

        I see. I still see Windows as a concept much more familiar than Apple products or Android to the general public. Of course this will not hold forever.

        The relatively high number of returns used to be true with Symbian but with WP I’ve heard that things are changing for the better. The challenge seems to be to get users to try WP out, but once they do they often find themselves liking it. At least this is my understanding. Lumia 900 seems to be selling well in the states. In Finland Lumias are selling well and you can literally see them everywhere. In general I think it’s doing OK. It’s true that Lumias are still not beating iPhone 4 S or SGS III but that was to be expected, for now. UK seems to be maybe the biggest problem at the moment. Especially in the higher end devices. Check this out: http://blog.t-mobile.com/2012/06/20/windows-phone-sales-climb/ . It all depends on the WP8 devices now. I’ve heard that the new Lumias should be very competitive and just what experienced smartphone users are looking for. Therefore I remain positively optimistic. :)

        • Mark Wilcox says:

          Interesting. I suggest there is no longer an affluent consumer on the planet who’s not familiar with Apple products.

          You can completely discount Finland as a representative market – it is totally skewed by Nokia loyalty. There are still Symbian devices in the top seller list. Smartphone returns have always been higher than feature phones, around 10% is not unusual, above 15% is a total disaster.

          WP sales are improving but from a really low base. For the amount spent on marketing they could probably have given away more than they sold. The entire Lumia range is selling fewer units than individual Symbian models used to.

          It’s true that people often start to like Metro once they’ve tried it, although in my experience that takes a few days, which makes it a tough sell in the phone shop. I think the platform as it stands is much better suited to a feature phone upgrade user rather than experienced smartphone user – as such HW requirements are currently to high and the devices are priced a bit high for that market.

          • Ville Aho says:

            Like I said, I don’t know where you’re getting the impression that Lumia returns are catastrophically high. Here’s another example that again tells quite a different story:

            My source in India Nitish Kumar found out some very interesting news about how Nokia’s “Amazing Money Back Challenge” in India is going. He talked to Vipul Malhotra, Director, Smart Devices Nokia India and found out that return rate on the challenge is only two percent!

            For those of you not familiar with the challenge here is the jist of it. If you buy a Nokia Lumia 800 or 710 in India you have a 7 days to return it, no questions asked for a full refund if you don’t like it. Source >>

            Problem is to get people to buy the WP devices in the first place. Which is something that I think will become easier as people get accustomed to Metro.

  18. Mark Wilcox says:

    The 20% figure I heard was direct from sources at Nokia, although it was long enough ago to be teething problems in the first few months of sales that have since been fixed. Could have been more to do with the outsourced hardware quality than anything else.

    • Ville Aho says:

      Here’s another study supporting my earlier claims: Got satisfaction: Lumia 900 owners delighted with their new phones.

      It’s interesting to note that although Lumia customers seem extremely satisfied, this level of satisfaction doesn’t translate to sales the same way that it did with the original iPhone. I think there’re three main reasons for this: 1) The fame of competing devices namely iPhone and SGS. 2) Hesitation towards anything Windows. 3) Previous bad user experience with Symbian.

  19. Mark Wilcox says:

    Sorry but those survey results on the Nokia conversations blog are not even vaguely plausible. It just goes to show that you can pay people to get any result you like. Metro is a pretty polarising interface, some love it, some hate it. Also, purely factually and without introducing opinion, the feature set of WP7.5 is still significantly playing catchup in many areas. That only 1% of buyers would be disatisfied at all and 2% think there were better alternatives out there does not add up – I wouldn’t expect to see numbers like that for SGSIII or iPhone 5 even.

    Did you stumble across this almost completely opposite result in your search for evidence: Lumia 900: Dashed Hopes for a Hero Phone.

    • Ville Aho says:

      It seems that you have clearly made up your mind. I won’t go into that “survey” that you referred to. I think it has absolutely no academic grounds or any sort of real life value. I’m sorry to say but by referring to that “survey” you’ve only made yourself look a bit foolish.

      I suggest that we end this discussion here for now. Thank you for your comments and do keep stopping by!

  20. Mark Wilcox says:

    I’ve not made up my mind, as I said above, I think it’s too early to tell how it will pan out.

    I just saw that survey from a link on Twitter – it’s from the Yankee Group and quite possibly funded by someone with an agenda against Nokia or Microsoft, I haven’t checked. I don’t see how either online survey has “academic grounds”? Trusting customer satisfaction surveys that companies pay for and publish as in any way meaningful is equally as foolish as passing on random related links from Twitter, if not more so.

    The market will tell us the real story in about 6-9 months time. If people love the Lumia devices as much as the Nokia funded survey says, combined with the unprecedented marketing push form Microsoft and Nokia (bigger than the iPhone!) then they should be selling 30 million this year easily and they’ll be hoping for more than that. If it’s as bad as the Yankee Group survey says then they’ll be struggling for more than 10 million. I suspect the truth is somewhere in the middle – assuming the lack of WP8 upgrade doesn’t kill sales of current devices too badly, which depends on how the software upgrade info is presented at retail.

    What I have made my mind up on, that you probably disagree with:
    1) Nokia was insane to go exclusively with Microsoft for smartphones, they left themselves no escape route if it didn’t work.
    2) Metro is very nicely designed but not to everyone’s taste.
    3) WP7.5 as it stands is not very competitive with iOS and Android for a sophisticated smartphone user.
    4) The Lumia 800 at least (I have one and have tried to use it as a primary device) is not a great product.

    What I still think is open:
    1) Microsoft have deep pockets and need to make this work – they might manage it.
    2) Nokia have world class capability in industrial design and some technology areas and can use that to help improve Windows Phone devices, which might make them attractive enough to be big sellers (for instance, I used an N8 for a long time because it still had the best camera and that was more important to me than having 10s of times as many apps available).
    3) Nokia still have a very valuable brand in many emerging economies and can leverage that if the WP8 price point can be brought down quickly enough (i.e. before the brand value disappears).

    Where I think the big challenges are:
    1) As you say – getting people to try Metro for long enough to realise they might like it.
    2) Execution – both Microsoft and Nokia have to execute quickly and competently across many areas to make this work. Neither company has a great record for that in recent years.
    3) Marketing and comms – Elop is a comms disaster area, so is Balmer. Microsoft’s historic marketing tactics will not go down well in the modern socially connected world. Some of the more traditional honest and dependable Nokia image needs to return and something new needs to be tried in advertising.

  21. Brendan says:

    This is a brilliant read by the way!
    All of this Ipad/android vs W8 talk might by completely down the wrong track. The windows 8 tablets will replace laptops fully they have the potential to completely wipe laptops as we know them off the face of the earth. W8 tablets will just be the upgrade that 90% of the people in the market will get. The way I see it is like this, My situation, I have a laptop that cost me a lot upwards of 3500 with a laptop I dont need a desktop computer this is old news now of course but if I was to get an ipad could I get rid of my laptop? no way..ever. I mean sure an ipad is unrivaled at just picking it up off the couch unlocking it and being on facebook or youtube within 10 seconds or just popping it in your bag and hitting up the web on the way to work or whatever. With a windows 8 tablet I am going to be 100% safe with that and a cellphone only (the cellphone will continue to be any flavour, android have got this pretty much sorted and the iphone has a fanatical fanbase). But the point to me writing this is that W8 tablets really appeal to me, Ive never bought into the tablet market yet cause i dont really have a need for them, Iv got my phone whatever model it may be ive had Apple and android so im neither here nor there they are both amazing devices. And then I have my laptop for everything else. My phone does everything i need it to on the go and my laptop does the rest. A windows 8 tablet wont even compare to an Ipad or android tablet because they will dominate and just take over the “full computer” category which is basically everyone. Whereas an Ipad will continue to be a luxury good where the owner will have to have his laptop or desktop hidden in the cupboard just incase he needs to do something off the web. Going to be an interesting couple of years to say the least!

    • Ville Aho says:

      Hi Brendan!

      Thank you for your comment and welcome to the site. You are absolutely right. It will be very interesting couple of years to see how this all will play out. Windows 8 is an interesting product, yet in many ways totally different from previous versions. Will consumers embrace it or hate it remains to be seen.

      • ScientificBob says:

        I’ve been following this thread from a distance since my last post and wanted to share something I thought was quite interesting.

        I came accross an article from 1999, printed in Newsweek and titled “Why the PC Will Not Die”.

        In this article, Bill Gates actually predicts how the PC will not dissappear but rather morph into new form factors where technologies like “alway on” and “always connected” will be the standard.

        It also talks about how these form factors will include tablets and hybrids – and yet, they will all still BE pc’s.

        Reading the article, it was like watching him predict windows 8 as far back as almost 14 years ago.

        He ended with “I bet the future of my company on this”.

        It was a response to claim nr 41651235485 of some guy predicting “the end of the PC”.

        So, while a lot of people seem to be convinced that windows 8 is “just” microsoft “chasing” after apple… they couldn’t be more wrong.

        Windows 8 actually seems to simply be everything going according to plan. A plan that was layed out to the public as far back as 1999.

        Now some people might say “yeah, well, but apple got there first!!”

        Well, they didn’t. They don’t even come close. The ipad is an oversized smartphone that doesn’t place calls.
        A windows 8 tablet is … just another pc.

        • Timo Koola says:

          I seem to be repeating myself, but I just want to bring this up:
          http://www.engadget.com/2010/04/05/hp-slate-to-cost-549-have-1-6ghz-atom-z530-5-hour-battery/

          If Apple didn’t create/define a new computing category, how the heck the “just another PC” in this picture didn’t win in the markets? Surely not because of the specs.

          And no, personal computing will not die. Smartphones and tablets will be the personal computers of far greater universe of people than was ever served by desktops and laptops. Will MS have a role in that market? Perhaps, but Windows 8 is so late in the game that it would definitely need to bring in something disruptive (as tablets and smartphones were to previous generation of computing).

          • ScientificBob says:

            “how the heck the “just another PC” in this picture didn’t win in the markets? Surely not because of the specs. ”

            The answer seems obvious. The operating system installed on that device. Windows 7 is not a touch-based operating system. Windows 7 was not ready (or perhaps better put: meant) for that form factor.

            And again, ipads are not anything like pc’s. They are, just like smartphones, additional devices. They are not capable of replacing pc’s.

            Windows 8 isn’t late to the game at all, that’s a big misconception.

            The game is barely just beginning. Apple sold like what… 80 million ipads? Impressive for sure. Something to be proud of if you’re from apple for sure.

            The fact is that pales in comparision to the high volume we witnessed with windows 7. +500 million copies and counting. Even vista, that “big ol flop”, sold more then 3x as much.

            The fact is that while ipads are incredibly hyped, they didn’t even make a dent in the windows eco system.

            We’ll have to wait and see off course, but you need to realise that for ipad to continue to be the dominant force of the tablet market… windows 8 devices need to sell 5x times less then windows Vista.

            It’s pretty safe to say imo that that simply is not going to happen.

            I predict windows 8 tablets overtaking the ipad in only a matter of months.

            • Ville Aho says:

              Could not have put it better myself. ;)

              I too think the game has just barely began and this is where my thoughts differ from Timo’s. I would not make any predictions of future trends based on Windows 7 or earlier hw. With Surface MSFT has shown that they now get what tablet experience is about. It’s clear that, although they’ve understood the importance, they have not mastered the execution so far. I expect Windows 8 to make a huge difference.

            • Mark Wilcox says:

              >> In this article, Bill Gates actually predicts how the PC will not dissappear but rather morph into new form factors where technologies like “alway on” and “always connected” will be the standard.

              Bill called this right, Microsoft just got the implementation wrong – they tried tablets with the OS that “wasn’t meant for them” for ages.

              >> And again, ipads are not anything like pc’s. They are, just like smartphones, additional devices. They are not capable of replacing pc’s.

              In my opinion this is the extremely dangerous assumption. Do you have an iPad? I bought one as a toy that I’d hand on to my daughter but it rapidly replaced the laptop for my wife and all of my non-work use (I develop software – I’m in a tiny minority that will definitely need a full blown PC for many years to come). The things that most people do most of the time on their PCs an iPad (or even cheaper Android tablet) is an entirely capable replacement for. What I’m hearing increasingly frequently is that for the few things that really need a full PC, people plan to keep their current laptop limping along for another 3-5 years and buy an iPad instead of a new PC.

              The iPad sales growth rate is significantly higher than that of the iPhone – 80m devices sold in it’s first 9 quarters on the market, most of those in the last year. Expect twice as many next year. Some of those are secondary devices and some will be replacing PC sales – absolutely no doubt.

              Android tablets are only just becoming credible options and at significantly lower price points – even more competition for computing spend.

              I don’t think Windows is going to die any time soon but it’s flat-to-declining while the other platforms grow and I very much doubt Windows 8 will reverse that. It’ll be interesting to watch the lumbering giants do battle though. Pricing is going to be key for the tablets – if there’s not a Surface option at a lower price point than the iPad then I predict a flop of epic proportions.

            • Timo Koola says:

              This boils down to whether tablets are disruptive vs. the laptop/desktop PCs or not. If it is disruptive then whatever market shares any company have in the old market have no meaning in the future (as witnessed by so many other markets before). I see no signs of Microsoft of getting any foothold in the tablet market anytime soon. For future claim chowder: I predict Win8 to be distant third in tablet OS marketshare Q4 2013. I’ll be back to check whether Win8 overtook iOS in couple of months. :)

              You need to consider who and how tablets are bought and at what price points. You might say that Win8 has genuine advantage in the business market, but when has enterprise market started upgrading their OS on day one of new Windows release? For the consumer market iPad pretty much defines what consumer want from tablets for time being. With massive scale advantage and huge purses Apple can build a massive moat against tablets that are just about as good.

  22. Timo Koola says:

    What is that what I call traditionalist make think that PC is the ultimate computing platform, so much so that tablet market is just waiting for PC to be good enough for it? What is the task/use case/scenario that is so overwhelmingly better served by Windows 8 that iOS simply stands no chance?

  23. David says:

    I was a long time Nokia user mostly because I loved the cameras just so I could mostly skip actually owning a camera. (Currently using a Nokia N8). I was all but sold on switching my phone use over to Blackberry based on using my wife’s Playbook and buying myself a small camera. Then one day I was shopping for a new phone for my mom who had said “No Apple and no Blackberry”…I tried out an Android and a Windows Phone and walked out of the store WITH a Windows Phone for myself. I found the UI and device THAT compelling. In the next week that I had it EVERYONE I showed it too was impressed and even a few regretted the Android phones they were using.

    If it hadn’t been for the announcement of Windows Phone 8 I would still be using it now. I took advantage of the 15 day return policy and am now waiting for the new releases and the tablets. I will be getting one of each… at least.
    Compare that to just 3 months ago I couldn’t even tell you what the name of ONE Windows phone was.

  24. Mark says:

    I was hoping windows would take over the mobile world also, but lets face it they won’t. I remember back when there were such things as PDAs. I thought Windows CE would be the next big thing, and it failed. But then there was windows mobile, again I jumped on board. Fail. Now the new windows phones… Fail. Windows came out with the pre-tablet tablet: Windows surface… Fail. Lets just face it: Microsoft lets good ideas fly out the window ‘pun intended.’ They do not maintain the innovation that Google does. They let great ideas fall by the wayside unless they are the main event. Their business model is aging and inflexible. They easily could have run the phone market, and tablet market from the beginning, and now they are running their tablet release like Rudy Giuliani ran his 2008 presidential bid, and we all know how that resulted… Fail.

    • Ville Aho says:

      Hi Mark!

      Have you considered that now there’s a one major difference in Microsofts strategy? Windows CE: Windows Mobile, PDAs and Windows Phone 7 were all build on a core that was different from the “big” Windows. With Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 this difference between these two products is dramatically smaller. Where there used to be a two platform strategy there is now one. I think this is a major change to the better. I would go as far as predict the next Xbox to also be build on Windows 8 in one form or another.

  25. Barkha Atwal says:

    Gracias for exalting me to go look up my own research. Yours was way more wide-ranging than mine.

  26. Karl says:

    I agree that Windows 8 matters, and I actually think they will start taking market share from Apple as well. It’s not just power users that will continue to use desktops, it’s pretty much all the office workers in the world. I can’t think of anyone who doesn’t use a desktop (or laptop with external monitor if they aren’t very unlucky) when doing work, and it’s the most ergonomic form factor at present for those who don’t have mobile jobs (read: most people). Now, how in the world is Apple going to make inroads at the office? Their machines cost 50% more in a market where 5% is enough to select one machine over another.

  27. KarlMarx the IIII says:

    Good post! I largely agree.
    I think Apple will maintain a strong presence for some time, even if in smaller scale than MS or whoever, as long as it continues its momentum for building high-quality “whole-widget” devices.

    But most interestingly, I too realized that Android is looking more and more weak. I came upon this revelation after playing with a friends GS3. I found is incredibly disappointing. Cheap feeling hardware and software. This is supposed to be the latest and greatest Android and it is flickery and non-smooth, messy interface. For me, I could care less about the ability to root it and modify this or that.

    Compared with the beautiful iPhone 5 and the friendly, secure eco system of Apple, I simply cannot imagine customers staying with Android for more than a few catch me quick deals (not including the hacker, geek types of couse).

    Android feels like linux! (and linux is great for those that have time/energy/interest to play/hack a little)

    MS on the other hand at least can create a more smooth elegant experience. It is certainly different than iOS (which should be applauded IMO) and I think in the long run will be much more compelling than generic Android crapware.

    Google needs to get their act together & fast! Otherwise Android will fade into obscurity, just like any other linux distribution soon. Perhaps they will make a closed source proprietary OS eventually all on their own, but we will see…

    • Ville Aho says:

      Thank you guys (or gals)! ;)

      Really great comments. Have any of you had the chance to play around with Windows RT or Windows Phone 8 yet? What do you think? How many of you have installed Windows 8?

  28. David says:

    Writing this comment on my Surface right now. Was hard getting it away from my wife becsuse she likes it a lot better than her Playbook. I asked her how she felt about the difference, her reply “Are you serious, no comparison, this seems futureistic”. Windows 8 on my PC upstairs. Have been really enjoying the Smartglass app for surfing using the Xbox on the big TV. Son has actually started using his Xbox again for surfing and videos because of it. Before the Surface arrived the Xbox was collecting dust. Lumia 920 should arrive shortly too, already reserved.

  29. Ville Aho says:

    Ars Technica has published a great article about this same topic titled: “Windows 8, the post-PC world, and Linux: Microsoft will prevail”. Read it here: http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2012/10/windows-8-the-post-pc-world-and-linux-microsoft-will-prevail/

  30. jay says:

    What are you lot smoking?
    Android? Dead?

    It is the fastest growing product of the decade!
    Android is going to destroy apple with nexus 7/10.
    I know some one who bought one for each of his children!(4)
    And they are not the most wealthiest of families.
    Almost everyone I know thinks metro looks ugly,old outdated and inefficient.

    Android for tablet works very differently to android for phones (look at menu bar/split screen form factors)

    People think that windows 8 are going to destroy Microsoft and they are making terrible design mistakes.
    First off, price.

    Android is FREE meaning it can go everywhere.
    Fragmentation is BS, want vanilla android? Get nexus. Its not expensive.
    Want some crazy mixed up raspberry and fudge?

    That is your choice.

    Windows server 2012 is a joke, it is a well known fact that command line is STILL the fastest way to manage a network(go and ask Google)

    On topic now, windows 8 tablets are too expensive, they are competing with ipad/Android.

    After looking at everything I have pretty much given up seeing a tablet being the be all and end all.
    In the future we will still have desktops/laptops/netbooks/tablets/7-inch/phone
    They will just be connected by the web serving their individual purposes.

    As for windows, they are just dreaming.
    Any push of feature X,Y or Z and Google and Apple have the people and money to make something better.

  31. SkyOcean says:

    I believe that a 10-15 inch tablet and a 21-25 inch monitor display at home and work place individually would be all future computer

    If people bring a mini keyboard with their tablet, then it is laptop, plug the tablet with a 23 inch monitor at work or home, then it is a desktop. unplug the tablet , watch some movie on the couch, it offer me great convince.

    By the year 2018, Intel will have 3 GHz- 12 core processor ready for the market ( with 7 nm Process Technologies). Then, tablet will be the computational box of today’s desktop, so tablet will not just take over most of laptop but also most of desktop.

    People need to plug their tablet with monitor if they want to do some heavy computational work. It can do all heave work like coding, animation design with large display screen.

    Laptop compare with Tablet just a mobile work station. People like journalist need to work on the run, like hotel, train, air plane may need a laptop. Majority people say 95% have regular travel place e.g. home – school, home – office. They just need a tablet run with a bigger monitor.

  32. SkyOcean says:

    Can Android and Chrome OS Challenging Windows during this transition period.

    We know that it is likely to rise new power during transition period of any industry. Who can believe Apple and Google could become leading mobile phone company before 2007. At 2009, I brought a Window Phone, I thought it must be the best, because it would compilable with my PC. Finally, it is not a good phone at all.

    Should Google merge Android OS and Chrome OS into One Operating System for ChromeBook? Make Android Tablet to have more PC like functions. Like Samsung Android tablet can run Photoshop. More and More PC application could run in Android tablet.

    For example in this image, as user click or touch “Chrome Desktop” Icon, the Android touch interface will transform to Chrome OS desktop interface.
    In Chrome desktop interface, user could click Home Icon (bottom right corner) to go back Android touch interface.

    I still believe that since tablet become more and more powerful, a 13 inches tablet will replace up to 80% laptop in 3 years’ time.

    Since Android OS has been widely used and developed worldwide, it can be easily accepted and adopted by customers and developers. It could the only Operating System to challenge Microsoft Windows in this planet. Google should not make Chrome OS as a separate operating system, but embedded Chrome OS into Android. Chrome Desktop = Chrome OS, which is a desktop interface of Android OS.

    Nothing is absolute, it depend who and how to run the company, Steve Job run Apple like miracle, Nokia is now like a disaster.

    Will Android has chance to challenge window in future PC, tablet.

    By the way, Apple should open this Operating system, make it very expensive. Then all tablet, mobile phone run Apple OS would be high end product, this will only make Apple more profitable, have more influence in IT field. This will not effect apple own Hardware device sale either. many people buy apple product because of excellent industry design. Will Apple challenge Windows once its OS is open to the market?

    • Ville Aho says:

      Hi SkyOcean!

      Two quick comments: 1) the “Windows Phone” you bought in 2009 had to be a Windows Mobile phone as Windows Phone devices weren’t launched until late 2010. 2) Apple will never, ever do anything that you could describe with the word “open”.

      • SkyOcean says:

        I don’t like Microsoft Dominance in PC operating system. Since Google and Apple join in the competition. Microsoft has to make new version of Window OS become cheaper and better, benefit all customs.

        It is a rumor that Tim Cook will authorize Apple iOS, OS to other manufacture. This seems bring Apple More profit by selling their software.

  33. Kiera says:

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  34. Shrey says:

    Come on! Windows has no chance in hell…no chance at all with smartphones and tablets…
    best it can do is preserve its desktop clientele..

  35. Michael says:

    Windows 8 is a disaster. You really think that a user friendly DROID user wants a more expensive fat clunky dysfunctional Windows 8 devise?? Microsoft is only a technology change away from bankruptcy.