Consumers are sick of waiting for Windows tablets, study says

Microsoft has missed the boat when it comes to tablets, marketing research firm Forrester reports. According to a new study, consumer interest in a Windows tablet, even one running Windows 8, has plummeted in the last 6 months.

According to the study, Windows 8 is just going to be too late to make a dent. They say that Windows 8 will be, at best, a fifth-rate player in the Tablet Wars, behind even RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook or HP's short-lived TouchPad. This could be a valid concern; by the time Windows 8 hits the market, Apple will have already released the third version of their iPad, along with other competitors like Samsung's Galaxy Tab.

In the first quarter of 2011, a whopping 46% of consumers said that they would prefer a Windows tablet with an interface designed for touch over any of the competing products. Now only 25% of consumers are interested, and it might drop even more before Windows 8 hits shelves sometime next year.

So, is Microsoft too late to the party, or will they be able to play off of their strengths – a large library of capable software that consumers know and trust, like Office – and turn around their prospects, or are hopes for a Windows dominated tablet market DoA? That's something we'll have to wait and see, and it will depend on how the market changes between now and then. Considering how quickly the Kindle Fire came into the scene and changed analyst's projections, who knows what will happen between now and then. If one thing is clear, it's that the sooner Microsoft ships, the better.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

3DMark benchmark program coming to Android

Next Story

Bing has 31 holiday surprises in store

45 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

I think Windows as a product is so much value packed in one and so strong with its incredible compatibility and rich ecosystem that it doesn't matter when Windows for tablets arrives. Once it arrives, it will kill the competition. Windows on the phone on the other hand is a different story.

Not sure if this is an issue or not but unfortunately they will never catch up to Apple's tablet success. Hopefully they can create a nice niche for themselves here.

Tablet with attachable keyboard? How is that different from a laptop? One has a cord between display unit and keyboard, and the other has a hinge. Is the corded keyboard a weak attempt to make the table somewhat useful for productive work?

Having the 75+ Microsoft stores by 2013 will, IMO, definitely help sales of W8 tablets...right now, iPads are the tablet that 'you know is gonna be awesome', and everything else is more of a high-risk thing to get. Having a MS store in every state would make it so that people could go in and actually try out the tablet, find out what they like & don't like about it, and it'll altogether become much less of a 'risky' buying descision

So, is Microsoft too late to the party, or will they be able to play off of their strengths - a large library of capable software that consumers know and trust, like Office

Not on ARM devices they won't. Sure you might get a metroified version of MS Office, but good luck getting any other non-MS software.

I can't stand Apple so I refuse a ipad... First Win8 tablet that has USB, Flash, etc etc all that jaz in it and more I'll buy it!

Clearly this survey was done by a forrester analyst who is not a techie. With Windows 8, The PC is the Tablet.
Q: In 2012, What will iPad users need to sync with iTunes.
A : A Windows 8 Tablet.

raghavny80 said,
Clearly this survey was done by a forrester analyst who is not a techie. With Windows 8, The PC is the Tablet.
Q: In 2012, What will iPad users need to sync with iTunes.
A : A Windows 8 Tablet.

Only if the tablet is running x86 processors. Which adds to the confusion for the usual moron buying these things.

raghavny80 said,
Clearly this survey was done by a forrester analyst who is not a techie. With Windows 8, The PC is the Tablet.
Q: In 2012, What will iPad users need to sync with iTunes.
A : A Windows 8 Tablet.

With iCloud, they don't need anything to sync

Maysky said,
Sick of waiting? How can you be sick of waiting when you're not waiting at all ...

---

Agreed. I think once Windows 8 tablets hit the demand will increase but the cost outweighs the benefits for most consumers even considering a tablet. It won't be long before prices go down due to increasing amounts of power in smaller devices (22nm Intel chips) and these things really begin to shine. The efficiency below 22nm will be awesome and we'll be able to do incredible things with portable devices and unique form factors. Eventually we'll have stuff like ultra portable PCs / gaming devices on USB sticks that you could just plug in or wirelessly connect to a TV.

Quite ironic article when you look at it from a different perspective and consider Microsoft (for once) is the first to bring a full desktop OS to tablets devices. Windows 8 isn't for tablets, it's for all sorts of PCs, and when you get used to it the new UI is revolutionary, and much faster than Windows 7 PCs.

The UI, WinRT, the great enhancements covered on the Windows 8 blog, and several great SDK features put Windows years ahead from any other tablet OS. For me Windows 8 is the ultimate thing. I'm going to buy a beasty tablet and use the new UI for personal use, and plug in a mouse/keyboard and use the traditional desktop for my work/school.

I get what they are saying. I have been anxious about the release, but the more time passes, I start to care less and less. Not to say, when it finally gets here, I won't be excited. But for now my excitement has run dry, and I have forgotten about it.

Panda X said,
Microsoft's been late to the party for the last several years.

One of the first for smart phones (windows mobile)

First for tablets (but aimed at business).

Early with free cloud storage (skydrive - well before iCloud) and currently the best solution.

Leading the pack on gaming (360) - and you can bet your arse that if apple ever release a gaming console, the same 'late to the game' brigade would be very quite.

1st for mainstream 64bit support on desktop OS (full 64 bit support).

Second best with Zune (behind iTunes - iTunes wins purely on a 'number of users' front, I prefer Zune immensly and I can use it on phone, PC and xBox) and only beaten to the 'first to release subscription music' spot by spotify (maybe others but havent hit my radar).

Have been held back for years with the antitrust issues, only been let of the lead lately.

Apple came into the smartphone market witht he power of iTunes (and iPods) behind them and a nice clean, legacy free UI and supprised a lot of people, then used that same OS for the tablets, its was a smart move and paid of, but to suggest because one company (apple) did really well and hit a market at the exact right time then others (in this and almost every other instance of the 'too late' comment though, its only ever aimed at MS, never anyone else) are late to the party is simply mind numbingly ignorant.

duddit2 said,

One of the first for smart phones (windows mobile)

Are you saying Windows Mobile is something to be proud of? LOL.
duddit2 said,

First for tablets (but aimed at business).

Yeah, those Windows XP tablets rocked.. oh wait..
duddit2 said,

Early with free cloud storage (skydrive - well before iCloud) and currently the best solution.

You're joking right? Microsoft was one of the last to get in on the act. Typical "Me too" attitude lol.
duddit2 said,

Leading the pack on gaming (360) - and you can bet your arse that if apple ever release a gaming console, the same 'late to the game' brigade would be very quite.

Ha. Leading the pack in Phishing scams yeah
duddit2 said,

1st for mainstream 64bit support on desktop OS (full 64 bit support).

I guess you've never heard of something called Linux right? Hell it's hard to even find 64bit software for Windows even now, unlike Linux where everything is available in 64bit, including Flash, Firefox, et al.
duddit2 said,

Second best with Zune (behind iTunes - iTunes wins purely on a 'number of users' front, I prefer Zune immensly and I can use it on phone, PC and xBox) and only beaten to the 'first to release subscription music' spot by spotify (maybe others but havent hit my radar).

Zune Who? /me Chuckles...
duddit2 said,

Have been held back for years with the antitrust issues, only been let of the lead lately.

Microsoft certainly held back web standards for years with IE.
duddit2 said,

but to suggest because one company (apple) did really well and hit a market at the exact right time then others (in this and almost every other instance of the 'too late' comment though, its only ever aimed at MS, never anyone else) are late to the party is simply mind numbingly ignorant.

Microsoft is the typical "Me Too" company these days. It wouldn't know what to do with a good idea if it was dropped on its lap lol.

Joey S said,

Are you saying Windows Mobile is something to be proud of? LOL.

yes, I would say so. Windows mobile was the best of it's era. It even was much more capable than the original iPhone. IPhone just had an easier interface.
Joey S said,

Yeah, those Windows XP tablets rocked.. oh wait..

They were designed for businesses, and there was nothing like them at the time.
Joey S said,

You're joking right? Microsoft was one of the last to get in on the act. Typical "Me too" attitude lol.

Surely not the first, but surely not the last either.
Joey S said,

Ha. Leading the pack in Phishing scams yeah

The xbox360 is one of the top selling consoles in the US. I'm not sure what measuring stick you use to judge a successful product.
Joey S said,

I guess you've never heard of something called Linux right? Hell it's hard to even find 64bit software for Windows even now, unlike Linux where everything is available in 64bit, including Flash, Firefox, et al.

Good luck finding games that work on your Linux machine.
Joey S said,

Zune Who? /me Chuckles...

troll
Joey S said,

Microsoft certainly held back web standards for years with IE.

Yes, you're right. Blame Microsoft. Don't blame website developers or adobe flash or anyone else.
Joey S said,

Microsoft is the typical "Me Too" company these days. It wouldn't know what to do with a good idea if it was dropped on its lap lol.

Microsoft learned some lessons from apple and google and the Linux community. This is true. They all also learned alot from Microsoft. Linux is mostly a windows alternative and not such a stand out different OS. Lets see what Linux does to compare with win8.

Joey S said,

Are you saying Windows Mobile is something to be proud of? LOL.

Yeah, those Windows XP tablets rocked.. oh wait..

You're joking right? Microsoft was one of the last to get in on the act. Typical "Me too" attitude lol.

Ha. Leading the pack in Phishing scams yeah

I guess you've never heard of something called Linux right? Hell it's hard to even find 64bit software for Windows even now, unlike Linux where everything is available in 64bit, including Flash, Firefox, et al.

Zune Who? /me Chuckles...

Microsoft certainly held back web standards for years with IE.

Microsoft is the typical "Me Too" company these days. It wouldn't know what to do with a good idea if it was dropped on its lap lol.

Most of your responses were basic trolling, but you are correct on the Linux 64 bit support coming first, but I left Linux out due to the fact that its not a main stream OS - no matter what you think. I do use a few distros myself and am well aware of the time lines involved, but the general Linux user is a techy person, not average joe and not requiring specific apps to do their job (specific apps that cant be replaced with open source software - like people in creative industries, sound, office work (dont start with the alternative office products).

The 360 phishing response was just childish, as though a phishing scamm is in any way under MS control or responsibilty, by that standard all banking phishing emails mean the bankks are failing with security, or (insert your own example here, there are thousands).

The other points do not deserve a response. that is all.

When the first Windows 8 tablet appears is when I'll get my first tablet... with bluetooth keyboard and mouse.

Tablet and PC in one... what more could I ask for?

Bamsebjorn said,
When the first Windows 8 tablet appears is when I'll get my first tablet... with bluetooth keyboard and mouse.

Tablet and PC in one... what more could I ask for?


Tablet PC's are around since 2001 I believe..

х.iso said,

Tablet PC's are around since 2001 I believe..

yes but Bamsebjorn is talking about a tablet and PC in one. that's where windows 8 comes in. you are able to switch between the two interface. tablet PC werent like the tablets we are used to in today's market.

M_Lyons10 said,
I don't think there's such a thing as "too late"... Technology changes far too quickly.

I could not agree more!

People are fickle, when Win8 ships and we see windows tablets in stores and can play with them then we'll have a lot oof short term memory syndrome occuring, I have no doubt of this.

By that time the millions of 360 users will have gotten used to the metro feel of things with the new update, windows phone should be seeing stronger sales (its about as old now as android was when that platform started to become popular, and by popular I mean more than 1% market share - yes it took a long time for android to gain traction, it really did) and with metro out now and WP8 due around windows 8 launch time along with the nokia deal/massive advertising push its really jjust a matter of time before that sweet tipping point occurs and average joe ont he street is talking about windows phone, how it hooks into xBox services and eventually how the tablets are similar and easy to use.

If the Win8 tablets are "meh" and don't hit the market until after the next major revision of the iPad next year, I think it will be game over unless the next iPad is a complete bust which is highly unlikely.

ncoday said,
If the Win8 tablets are "meh" and don't hit the market until after the next major revision of the iPad next year, I think it will be game over unless the next iPad is a complete bust which is highly unlikely.

Why does it matter if the iPad 3 will be released by the time they come out? It doesn't.

I personally think the tablet market is getting to be over saturated, like the netbook market did and it will sink, just like the netbook market did

neufuse said,
I personally think the tablet market is getting to be over saturated, like the netbook market did and it will sink, just like the netbook market did

The tablet market has much greater potential than netbooks, which are just glorified laptops in a smaller form factor, and which are limited by short battery times and power hungry x86 chipsets.

Tablets also offer much greater variety in OS/software, form factor, and ad hoc uses, whereas netbooks, and laptops offer only Windows and the same boring and identical functionality. People like variety, and Windows just doesn't cut it these days.

Microsoft didn't miss the boat, they built the dock, Apple just happend to dock at MS's tablet dock and refused to leave....

neufuse said,
Microsoft didn't miss the boat, they built the dock, Apple just happend to dock at MS's tablet dock and refused to leave....

Lol. Yeah. You probably could plug your iPad into your Windows 8 tablet to change the settings on it on iTunes. XD

Meph said,

Lol. Yeah. You probably could plug your iPad into your Windows 8 tablet to change the settings on it on iTunes. XD

Well, only if you installed Win 8 on an x86 tablet. Unless, of course, they make iTunes for ARM.

MASTER260 said,

Well, only if you installed Win 8 on an x86 tablet. Unless, of course, they make iTunes for ARM.

That's a good point. They may not make a Metro-style version for that reason.

mulligan2k said,
the first decent win8 tablet with attachable keyboard / dock should grab peoples attention back

Well, if they're anything like pre-8 Windows tablets, than any tablet that has a keyboard won't be like, "attach the tablet to the keyboard," it'll be more like, "flip the screen around & you have a keyboard."

mulligan2k said,
the first decent win8 tablet with attachable keyboard / dock should grab peoples attention back

There are Windows 7 tablets out now with that functionality, but they're not exactly flying off the shelves.

Joey S said,

There are Windows 7 tablets out now with that functionality, but they're not exactly flying off the shelves.

Neither are any from your beloved Android side. To make some sense, Windows 8 will have touch centric UI. Go away, troll.

mulligan2k said,
the first decent win8 tablet with attachable keyboard / dock should grab peoples attention back

Yeah, but in the mean time people may as well buy an el cheapo android tablet. If tablets are anything like android mobiles, they'll be outdated within a year anyway, ready for windows tablets.

sagum said,

Yeah, but in the mean time people may as well buy an el cheapo android tablet. If tablets are anything like android mobiles, they'll be outdated within a year anyway, ready for windows tablets.


Agreed, instead of waiting, people will buy cheaper tablets and thus making W8 tablets losing "potential" customers.