The Competition: Windows 8 on Tablets

Windows 8
By Bla1ze on 13 Sep 2011 07:11 pm EDT

Some interesting happenings today in the World of tech. Microsoft is currently holding their BUILD: Windows Conference in Anaheim, California and during that conference they took the time to demo some new Samsung built built tablets running Windows 8. With iOS, Android and QNX already on the market, we're left to wonder where Microsoft fits in here and how many folks out there have been waiting for a tablet optimized experience from Microsoft.

Granted, Windows 8 is built and designed for both personal computers and tablets but given the fact it is making use of their Metro UI found on Windows 7 phones it does make it idea for use on tablets and looking through the CrackBerry forums, some people have opted to choose Windows 7 tablets such as the HP Slate, despite it's non tablet optimized UI over such things as the BlackBerry PlayBook, Apple's iPad and even the Honeycomb powered Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.

Microsoft has been playing close attention to this apparent spec race happening as well, the tablets Samsung built for the Windows 8 developers are running dual-core 1.6GHz Intel Core i5-2467M processors with 11.6-inch 1366 x 768 Super PLS displays not to mention USB and HDMI ports, a microSD slot and a 3G modem. Apparently they read Phils Motorola Droid Bionic review and laughed at its listed specs.

But ultimately, is there a place for Windows 8 on tablets? Does Microsoft have what it takes in Windows 8 to go up against RIM, Apple and Google or is Windows 8 doomed to personal PC's? A lot of people have moved away from Windows in general in the past few years and moved onto Apple computers and even Linux builds such as Ubuntu and now Microsoft is hoping their latest desktop environment is also going to be good for their tablet devices as well. It's a risky gamble for Microsoft to be taking. The Windows 8 developer preview will be available later tonight. You can learn more about Windows 8 here in the meantime. Will any of you all out there be grabbing it to check out the latest from Microsoft?

Reader comments

The Competition: Windows 8 on Tablets


(I have nothing to offer, I'm mindless.)->for the one that edited my post on SuckBerry.

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When Microsoft and Windows step into the arena, it will be game over for all other tablets.

Look what Windows did to Apple in the PC arena. Until Apple got loads of money to buy advertising, they never got more than 10% of the PC market. There's a reason for that -- Apples are crap computers.

It will be the same in the tablet market. Windows 8 will wipe the floor with Apple and unfortunately BlackBerry too.

I don't know about game over but I'm with you. Apple is doing well their stock price is high, but MSFT has boatloads of money to throw at this and they own the computer market (sorry Apple boys but that's the truth).

MSFT has a history of being late to the game but winning in the end (Office, IE, Xbox). I don't see a difference here. In fact blending win8 as a PC and tablet OS virtually ensures it will be the defacto tablet standard.

They may not take over with win8 but by the time we get to win 10 no one will know or care that Apple was the first real tablet.

I like my playbook a lot but I don't see RIM withstanding this. I see the playbook shrinking until indeed it is a phone. RIM is good at phones (despite recent tragic missteps) and they would do well to stick with that in the long run. Also QNX in cars, they seem to be ahead there.

It isn't just RIM, Android has absolutely no chance either. Apple might retain the traditional 10% who refuse to see that over time MSFT does eventually end up making a better product.

I am looking to install Windows 8 on my laptop AND!! I very much want a 10"-12" windows based tablet that could eventually replace my notebook with the right docing station, Windows is still the defacto OS, and a Windows tablet with all the appropriate support could be the first viable tablet to replace a notebook for business use!!!

I'd love to have my 7" Playbook, and my 12" Samsung Window 8 based tablet with keyboard docking station!!

Not sold on the Metro Style, but it did take me till 2004 to finally stop using classic styling on Windows XP!

Good point. After viewing the video I still say there is room for the Playbook as an ultra portable tablet. In fact if I were RIM I would do everything I could to make it slimmer and to decrease the bezel area to ensure it really does fit into an inside suit packet.

Windows 8 Tablets will be what RIM claimed the PB was going to be. An Enterprise tool. What people have been moving away from Windows PC's? My company has 95% windows PC's (35K employees). There are a few Solaris, linux and MAC workstations, but even they run Windows emulators because there aren't Solaris or MAC or Linux apps for 85% of what they need to do.

Servers yes. Ubuntu and Redhat are solutions used for the server side, along with Windows servers and VMWare. Windows still outnumbers the others by a wide margin due to support costs and resource requirements. Absolutely NO-ZERO-NADA MAC servers of any kind.

Company has put off tablets in general except where they can be optimized for very narrow and specific purposes. But Windows 8 tablets will be adopted quickly and will be used to replace most, if not all laptops within 2 years.

And I will adopt immediately to replace my own personal laptops (4) including my sons pretty new laptop he uses for college. Windows 7/8 Laptop PC's or all in ones will quickly become the new "desktop", and windows tablets will be the remote, portable solution for productivity.

Sorry but Microsoft will win again, IMO.

As much as I love RIM, I totally agree with you.

The more tablets leave the "smartphone" realm and go more towards the "personal computer" realm, the more you'll see the ms windows tablets being used - its just a fact.

The tablet industry is very infant, and as it matures it will be more in the line of PC's, and I'm not sure folks like RIM and Google will fair well.

This will replace my iPad 2. No iTunes. No converting video to get them to play: VLC player for Windows 7 is compatible already. So is Comical. Forget all of the Honeycomb tablets (which sounds like a breakfast cereal), THIS is the iPad killer.

Just make it like a Transformer (attachable keyboard) and a windows 8 tablet would replace my laptop if the price is right.

Course, battery life has to be great too. My current laptop, ASUS UL-80A, can get 12 hours. I'd also want a large hard drive. Wouldn't want to be stuck with a 64 GB flash drive on my primary laptop.

Pretty much, I want my laptop, but with a detachable touch screen and windows 8. I'd probably dual-boot Ubuntu as well. That would be my ideal tablet/computing device. Pair that with my smart phone and that is all I need (er, want).

Your lopsided view of the world is hilarious. The number of iPads and other tablets sold compared to PCs running in various form factors is miniscule. Microsoft has ~5% of the tablet marketshare even without trying - with their existing non-tablet optimized OS.

Be a proponent of BlackBerry all you want, but you do a major disservice to your readers and target audience by disparaging a platform that has a number of past achievements and is all set to provide a rather impressive user experience to consumers along with the kind of choice, performance, managebility and security businesses require.

Suggest doing some basic research of this market segment and reviewing today's Build keynote, along with all the info that's out there from bloggers and journalists who actually attended the event and got some hands-on time with Windows 8 tablets, before you question "whether there's a place for Windows 8 on tablets?".

Agreed. I appreciate some optimism for the Blackberry platform(s), but some of these articles on Crackberry are overwhelmed by a reluctance to say anything that could be perceived as negative towards RIM, especially their products.

I'd rather have perceptive analysis than cheerleaders. It's why I'm much more interested in public policy than politics, and it applies to most of the rest of life, too.

"Does Microsoft have what it takes in Windows 8 to go up against RIM, Apple and Google or is Windows 8 doomed to personal PC's?"

I hate to break it but that statement is laughable! Go up against RIM?? In the outside-of-Crackberry world RIM's tablet offering is viewed as an utter failure. I would rephrase that to ask if Microsoft has a chance of going up agaginst Apple and maybe Google or will it end up like RIM! I am a hardcore BB user, but please be realistic!

I also laughed when I read this blog and "going up against RIM" tone carried throughout it. I'm a huge blackberry fan and I really do love my Playbook but Microsoft has nothing to worry about in terms of competition from RIM; the Playbook has been an unmitigated disaster - its not even on the radar of consumers. Heck, more people think the HP WebOS tablet has a brighter future/features/useability than the Playbook...and that tablet is dead! RIM is just not that important in the tablet scene and I doubt very much that Microsoft considers the Playbook as anything more than a niche product.

I think there are quite a few of us out here who have been waiting for a true work tablet, which is what we were hoping for from the PlayBook, but didn't get. Right now we're either stuck with media consumption tablets or heavy and clunky Windows 7 tablets. I think these Win 8 tablets will fill the void nicely!

And there is the world number 2 tablet. Possibly will take the number one spot. RIM better have something damn good up their sleve. I love RIM and their products but I have to be realistic.

I have to point this out:

Now I've been a Windows PC for a long time, and having been fixing them since I was 7 I'm very familiar with the Architecture. If the Kernels are near exact enough. The shear backwards compatibility will win the day immensely.

That, and theirs a lack of full specs. I doubt the Windows 8 Tablet will be missing any Open GL support, and will probably be packing Direct X support. Probably even be a nvidia gpu in there as well. Hell, with ARM support, nVidias Tegra Chipset will freakin rule.

I cannot wait to use this new tablet. The UI seems to be very immersive and smooth. By Microsoft adding the different connectivity to the device I believe that would give Microsoft an advantage over the rest of the tablets on the market, for those that are NOT looking to purchase an iPad of course. Great job Microsoft, I hope the new tabs do well.

Not giving up on QNX Tablet OS, but definitely interested in this! Good use for my old netbook that's currently dual booting Win7 and OS X 10.6.

Microsoft has just doomed themselves; "Windows 8" could be a decent tablet OS, but on a PC??!?!?!?!? I hope they start making PC games to run on linux...

depending on the price, I'd definitely look to get me one of these. If I can run everything I currently run on my laptop on a Windows 8 tablet, there is no way any other tablet can compete with that.

I did beta testing for Windows 7 and I won't mind testing Windows 8... Should my now aged laptop manage to instal and load it.

Tablet wise, I still want a PlayBook.

Blackberry is my phone to get things done. Waiting for Mango to get a phone for personal use.

Windows 8 - absolutely will consider.

As far as Apple - great hardware. Would install Windows 8 on Apple hardware in a sec MSFT decided to make it easy. Move to Apple world - not a chance.

Playbook - very hopeful - but not ready.

Have you tried installing WIN7 on a macbook pro? You'll burn your lap!

Forget Apple hardware. The only reason you think it's good is you compare it to a cheap PC. Pay for a Sony and you'll see that you never have to look at a MAC again.

I can see this as a tablet OS a lot easier than for a PC. Is Microsoft expecting there to be a huge boom in touch-screen monitors in the next couple of years? Because that's the only way I can see the Win8 UI working on a PC.

I have a Windows Tablet running XP now and I love it. I have put it on the back burner since I am an office person now. When I used it everyday it was my GPS and place to store my price books.

Nothing beats Delorme mapping software.

I plan on getting another windows tablet but it will not replace my Playbook. I will have both for different reasons. I just can't wait to see what Motion Computing and Tablet Kiosk puts out. They latest products have rivaled the size of the playbook and ipad but I wanted and needed something different in April.

I prefer the QNX version to all the tablet OS's I've used so far. And I generally prefer the look and feel of the Playbook OS to what I've seen of the Windows Metro approach. But even so, the early Win 8 demos are very promising and there is such a thing as software overload, such that there is a powerful appeal to an OS that will cut across phones, tablets and desktops.

I have my doubts about their claim that the OS will be optimized for PCs & Tablets but we'll see. I also find that UI horrendous, I've never liked it but they keep going with the big green buttons. Do they have a problem with refining their touch controls or do they just think their users can be easily distracted by a jingling set of car keys? I say this cause every time I see it, all i can think of is how much it looks like a Fisher Price toy.

i think you(and some other posts above) has mistaken blaize's point in that statement. which is understandable because you didnt read the full sentence. on my screen its read RIM, Apple, and google. i.e. he meant to say the tablet market.

and yes i have no problem with that statement. the windows 8 has not even been released yet and for all we know a meteor could fall and destroy their entire tablet supply on earth one day before its release day. so until we see Microsoft does stand up against them(which i do think is very likely)that statement is valid.

A good 7 inch (love the size of the PB) windows tablet combined with a good phone with a great physical keyboard is the only combination I can think of that might lure me away from RIM.

Though, if RIM simply made Docs to go better (Sheets is unusable) it would take a lot for me to leave.

None of the current mobile operating system tablets is competition to windows 8 which is a desktop operating system. Windows 8 has a greater user base, with a greater API and much more development capability than any of the mobile operating systems (iOS, android, playbook tablet OS), which on top of that, carry money making hardware limitations, hence its out of their league. The only competition for windows 8 is mac OS on a tablet or linux.

I just watched the demo and it seems very impressive. I still can't say that it's better than the playbook though. The ui of the playbook i superior imo. The only issue is that RIM has not released all the goodies that belong inside. I mean how do you show off the fastest email if there is nome native, how it plays powerpoint when it doesn't play it all the way, how to show off what w've done with media if RIM for some reason won't unleash the rath of TAT, and how do you show off bbm when the only way its available is to own the phone as well?

Don't get me wrongthat windows 8 platform looks amazing but if RIM releases the hounds we can become respectable. I still think that it isn't built to take on 10 in tablets. I think the only competitor to blackberry i actually RIM. I can totally see myself owning both the windows 8 and playbook device at the same time. At that point it becomes an issue of if i give up the convenience of the smaller tablet for that of one that does everything it promises.
RIma this is all on you

i dunno...i swore off Windows from a mobile standpoint since winmo 6.5. ive played with windows phone 7, my first tablet was win7 archos 9. all employees of my business happen to have bb's so things like bbm for calendar are just convenient. we use tablets to showcase our videos on the go, but for productivity the win 7 tab sux compared to the pb. i may give win 8 a trial run, but im not completely ditching rim for it would literally set my company back a few weeks, by having to switch everything over.

W8 looks great. RIM, forget the Playbook and start to build good QNX phones very quickly. Take the 9900, put a better camera with autofocus and a stronger battery inside, change the OS7 to QNX and you will be the best on the market of business phones again. Believe me.

There have been lots of windows tablets, that are a lot closer to computers than the current generation of tablets. But they didn't seem to take off. Lifebook from Fujitsu, HP has a laptop with the screen that spins around into a tablet form.

I guess now that the ipad has changed the market they're slowly shifting back to what tablets were

although I only use macs at home and a blackberry, i have tremendous respect for microsoft. they've done more for modern computing and technology than anyone. and i'd definitely welcome the opportunity to see what they've been working on.

before there was anything, there was microsoft.

i have a feeling that windows 8 is gonna conquer the territory of tablet...... i mean can you imagine a tablet that is running visual studio 2010?

with windows 8, a tablet is finally more than a toy, it can actually get stuff done!!


The more and more I think about it and watch this evolve, the more and more I see where tablets are progressing. The unfortunate thing is, users will be going backwards. How so?

Where tablets are going - see video above, and if you're like me that need a physical keyboard, the Police Car demo showed a nice BT keyboard for your desk. At a docking station, and with the power the tablets are generating, bye bye PC workstation. This is why RIM NEEDS!!! to increase the size of the display, while keeping the form factor. The fact you can take your PC in your pocket, come on!! super cool!!

That said, things I don't like, lack of dual 24" monitors sitting on my desk as I type this. Part of the docking bay on your desk via HDMI? Hmmmmm a bit of software required...navigation on the touch screen of the tablet close to you. Or why not use 'Blackberry Cyclone' to stream your display?

One more big hurdle and you see it in this video, I grew up with freedom around the computer. Even still sitting in Windows XP at work, and Windows 7 at home, I feel freedom to do what I want. Owning an iPhone in the past, a Blackberry today, I feel locked down, being told what to do, where to put things, how things should look, how and what I execute. I have grown up a bit in the fact that as a kid I liked tearing things apart whether it be hardware or software, but today I don't have the time... the question is good for the present generation? Not so good for the future generations? Kids like I was that found a career in IT.

End of day, a power PC isn't going anywhere, a laptop on the other hand, the future is dark.

Can we port Windows8 over to Playbook? I can donate my playbook for the cause
And why not port Andriod on Playbook?

How about VMWARE comeup with a tablet/playbook version of fusion to run many falvors ?

Better yet...

Windows Player for Playbook

All the Windows Apps, without the viruses and bugs in the OS!

If you've ever run Window emulators on MAC or Solaris or Linux you know they basically suck. Performance overhead and limitations cause these to be well, less than adequate.

And here's another point. Microsoft won't even have to mess with the hardware. They will license the Win8 OS and let Samsung, Acer, Lenovo, Dell, etc. etc. deal with the hardware design. That will enable competition. USB OTG, SD card readers, SSD drives, HDMI out, screens everything will be fair game and available (for a price, which will also be open for competition).

Existing backward compatibility for software and tools will be huge. And developers will jump on this big time because what they have doesn't have to be "ported", only updated minimally for the new features available with touch screen portable devices.

I can't wait to try 8, but the UI sucks. Those colorful squares are awful and ugly. That will be the first thing I change.

I agree but don't think those will be the end product. MS learned from Apple that the user experience needs to be much more elegant. This is just a demo after all and the UI will evolve along the way, IMO.

Lets face it, tablets are nothing but play machines right now. With 8 we will finally get some serious word processing, spreadsheets, and data base work done.

No doubt windows 8 is a winner in the tablet market.

For me RIM is about phones, but I do have to say that I do have a PB and often use it to read in the bathtub. I really can't see taking that Huge windows thing in the tub with me, not do I want to read on a iPhone-sized device.

What made BB great was the insight that you could efficiently type email with you thumbs. For the PB to survive RIM needs to think of things that fit the size of the 7 inch tab (and make it thinner). If they can't think of something then I say just put QNX on phones and make sure TAT makes them cool. I will be getting a windows tab but still want my BB phone.

If you take a tablet in the tub with you (whatever tablet) then you have way more dollars than you do sense.

Microsoft can gather millions to see what the next Windows will look like. Win Phone 7 is crap. I can't even stand looking at the screen. Those annoying blocks or tiles just take up so much screen space. Perhaps on Windows 8 on a larger screen, it might be fine. I've not seen the demo but I'm not all that fascinated by what they've got. I rarely use my PC anymore, especially with the excellent browser on BB7. I'm just rarely at home. Laptop runs Win 7 to sync my BB :)

RIM should take some marketing notes from Microsoft & Apple ;)