Microsoft Has Uphill Battle in Tablet Wars
– Apple Winning Hearts and Minds
Microsoft has a big hole to climb out of in the tablet
department if it wants to prove it belongs in the “top OS”
tier. Consumers have already drawn their loyalty lines between
Apple and Android products, and Microsoft has to perform well
against both to be considered among them.
Microsoft has a few cards up its sleeve: its connections in
the PC equipment making community, the hunger that Qualcomm,
Nvidia and Intel have for a big bite of the tablet market and
the corporates’ dependence on Windows PC and servers.
However, Microsoft has a big lead to overcome, demonstrated
starkly over the holiday shopping weekend in the States, as
Apple tablets were the clear winners.
Apple stores saw 47% more traffic than Microsoft stores over
the weekend, according to Piper Jaffray research. Analyst Gene
Munster, staked outside of the two stores in a Minneapolis
mall, said within a two-hour period, the Apple store sold
around 17 products per hour, compared to a paltry 3.5 products
in the Microsoft store – including 11 iPads sold each hour and
zero Surface tablets.
Despite a crowded tablet market, demand for Apple products is
growing among the youth. In Nielsen’s annual “iHoliday”
survey, demand for iPads beat out not only the competition,
but also previous years demand among children aged six to 12.
It’s hard to imagine any child in that age group interested in
purchasing a Surface tablet.
Apple’s iOS and Android have taken the top two market share
positions in tablets and smartphones, at least in the short
term and maybe even in the long run. Their most probable rival
in tablet operating systems is Microsoft’s two versions of
Windows 8 – one for Intel processors (the Pro version) and one
for ARM-based processors (the RT version). No other tablet OS
even appears on the horizon.