Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Never Mind the iPhone 5. Where’s My Windows iPad?

The Internet will tell you that there is much sadness because Apple didn’t release an iPhone 5 yesterday. But if you’re really going to venture into the world of tech dreams deferred, then you can end up in some pretty weird places.

For instance: Did you know that lots and lots and lots of people are pining away for a tablet that runs Windows?

Here’s a new survey out from Boston Consulting Group, which says 42 percent of U.S. consumers would like to buy a tablet that runs Microsoft’s operating system. That makes it the most desired OS by a significant margin, trailed by Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android.

So that’s a little odd, right? Because on the Internet, everyone loves Apple. And also, because there is no Windows tablet.*

But the BCG study isn’t an anomaly. Forrester conducted a poll earlier this year and got the same message, with an even starker gap between Microsoft and everyone else: “Only 9% of consumers considering buying a tablet actively prefer an Android tablet — compared with 16% who prefer iOS and 46% who prefer Windows.”

When I wrote about it back in August, I found this so puzzling that I got Forrester researcher Sarah Rotman Epps on the phone to confirm that this wasn’t some weird typo. Nope, she told me.

And it’s sort of common sense: “When we survey consumers, it becomes very clear that Windows is still a very popular brand,” she said. Apple has sold tens of millions of iPads, but Microsoft has sold more than 400 million Windows 7 devices. What that says to me is that there’s a huge opportunity that Microsoft has left untapped so far.

So, what do you think, Steve Ballmer? I know you folks will be preoccupied today with a slew of Xbox announcements. But maybe when you’re done, you can give the people what they want.

*I know, I know — there are Windows tablets. But there aren’t practical, consumer-focused iPad-like tablets running Windows on the market now. Though one day there might be. Okay?

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Nobody was excited about paying top dollar for a movie about WikiLeaks. A film about the origins of would have done better.

— Gitesh Pandya of comments on the dreadful opening weekend box office numbers for “The Fifth Estate.”