Richard Edwards, Principal Analyst, Ovum.
AUSTRALIA: The announcement comes just a week after Google announced its light-weight, instant-on, cloud-centric notebook, and is no doubt intended to make people think more deeply about their actual computing requirements rather than following the hype and the crowd.
Tablet devices, such as the Apple iPad, the Motorola Xoom and RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook, are offering users an alternative computing ‘lifestyle’, much as the iPhone and Android-based smartphones have changed the way we think about mobile phones. But most business users of these new tablet devices have not yet ditched their desktop or laptops PCs, preferring instead to use them as a convenient and more usable extension to their primary computer while on the move or away from their desk.
Windows 8 will, if Microsoft’s hardware partners come up with good designs, provide business users and the huge community of ‘content creators’ with a tablet-sized device that has a full touch-based user interface, an ability to run standard Windows productivity tools and business applications, and the ability to connect to, and communicate with, a plethora of computing peripherals.
We believe that Microsoft is still a viable market-maker, and that reports of its imminent demise are somewhat over exaggerated. However, the world’s most powerful IT company must bring its innovations to market in a more complete and marketable manner than has been the case to date.