Microsoft’s potential tablet reveal could be the start of a big push in the market by the company.
Microsoft could charge ahead of Google and join Apple as a big player in the tablet market
The IDC predicted that, by 2016, tablet sales will be largely driven by Windows 8. Microsoft is making a big push towards tablets with the Metro UI in Windows 8, and crucially remains consistent regardless of form factor and resolution (something which Google has failed to address).
Microsoft is expected to make a huge marketing push around Windows 8, the IDC said, in 2011 and devices will become more affordable for consumers. Microsoft is pushing Internet Explorer in advertisements, which are certainly attention-catching and is probably a glimpse of what we’ll see when Windows 8 releases.
Alongside Microsoft will be Apple, whose share in the tablet market will continue to grow to above 60 percent. That’s down to the new Retina display iPad, and the cheaper iPad 2 (which I’m buying next week, because it’s cheaper and the Retina display isn’t a huge draw for casual use).
Apple, Microsoft Growing: Android Declining?
Though I don’t think this will happen, the IDC said Apple’s hold on the market could tighten if it launches a cheaper 7-inch model. If Microsoft are going after Amazon or Apple, a 7-inch tablet would be a definite differentiator.
Findings by IDC did not include the Windows 8 or Windows RT/ARM tablets, with the latter group aimed specifically at the mobile form factor. However the way findings are tracked will be revised. The IDC also said Windows 8 will contribute to the growth of the overall tablet market, without taking away shares from Android or iOS. I could joke and say there are no shares to take away from Android, but I won’t.
I do expect Windows 8 on tablets to be a hit, though, because it’s unique. Microsoft also has the developer support to create an active ecosystem, not one that simply ports apps over. The report also said that the tablet market is eroding the e-reader market – Microsoft invested into the Nook Barnes & Noble business, which feature e-readers, so perhaps Microsoft recognises the declining market. Stay tuned on Monday for what Microsoft is going to reveal, tablet or otherwise.