Window Closing for Windows iPad?
Windows 8 tablets aren’t expected to arrive at market until sometime next year. And that’s a year too late, according to Forrester Research, which finds consumer interest in them to be quickly dwindling.
In the first quarter of 2011, Forrester surveyed consumers about their tablet preferences and some 46 percent said they’d like one that runs Windows. Asking the same question in the third quarter, Forrester found that interest in a Windows tablet had dropped dramatically — to 25 percent.
Quite a change in just nine months.
And that’s bad news for Microsoft, which now finds itself rushing the tablet-optimized Windows 8 to market as the window of opportunity closes. As Forrester analyst J.P. Gownder observes, “Microsoft has missed the peak of consumer desire for a product they haven’t yet released.”
Worse, it’s already two laps behind its rivals in the space and will almost certainly be even further behind by the time the first Windows 8 tablet debuts. Apple launched its second-generation iPad in early 2011 and will likely launch its successor in early 2012.
That means the first-generation Windows 8 tablets will be going head to head with the third-generation iPad, which also happens to be the market leader.
And that puts Microsoft in a tough spot. To really succeed it must not only overcome the disadvantages of being a fifth mover in the tablet market, it must meet and surpass a bar for quality and utility that’s been set very, very high by the market’s first mover. Says Gownder, “If Windows is to have any hope, its product strategists must not only bring new features to the platform but also must fundamentally reinvent the experience.”