Microsoft Looking to Make a Comeback in the Mobile Market
In an interview yesterday with CNBC, Bill Gates shared his views on Microsoft’s position in the mobile device market. After arguing that iPad users are “frustrated” by the limitations of their devices, he stated that with Windows 8, Microsoft is poised to scoop up the many consumers who demand greater capability out of their tablet.
“Via Surface and Surface Pro, you’ve got that portability of a tablet but also the richness – in terms of a keyboard and Microsoft Office – of a PC,” Gates said.
“It’s getting harder to distinguish products whether they are tablets or PCs,” He continued, “Windows 8 is revolutionary in that it takes the value of the tablet and PC, and is able to support both of those.”
Gates’ comments echo some of the common arguments Windows loyalists make when attempting to trump Apple fans. Without the capabilities of MS Office, iPad users have a harder time doing full-scale computing. Apple operating systems are designed for either mobile (iOS) or full-scale computing (OSX), while Windows 8 was designed to be optimal for both, as well as any gray area in between. Also, the proliferation of devices with varying weights, sizes, features, and capabilities leaves the options wide open for Windows users, while Apple fans have only a handful of options.
The Dell XPS 10 with a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor is one example of a mobility-optimized device that’s capable enough for the enterprise environment, with a snap-on keyboard and full Office suite. Devices like this have helped Microsoft gain ground over the last year, although Windows 8 tablets still account for less than 8 percent of the tablet market. Apple’s iPad, on the other hand, retains nearly 50 percent.
Meanwhile, The Telegraph reports that an Amazon flub prematurely released details on a new small Windows 8 tablet: a 7-inch Acer Iconia W3. Asus is also rumored to be developing a 7-inch Windows tablet. Between the two of these, consumers can most likely expect an inexpensive 7-inch Windows tablet to appear soon, competing with the iPad Mini, and potentially expanding Windows’ market share even further.