Xoom and iPad 2 May Have Delivered Knock Out Blow to Windows Tablets

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The release of the Motorola Xoom, and the announcement of the iPad 2 in the past week may have together delivered a knockout blow to the future of Windows tablets. By the time any Windows tablets become available, the iPad and Android platforms will all but have sewn up the market.

The Xoom shows that Android 3.0 Honeycomb tablets will be real competitors to the iPad. Because Android tablets will come in many form factors and price points, they'll likely eventually outsell the iPad. But the iPad will still sell exceedingly well, and be the best-selling individual tablet model out there.

At the moment, there's still time for a competitor to Android tablets and the iPad. But that moment is closing quickly. If Microsoft were able to quickly release a tablet as good as either of those two, it would have a chance.

That won't happen, though. A big reason is that Microsoft has decided that Windows, not Windows Phone 7, will be its tablet platform. As I've said previously, that's a big mistake. Windows requires too much overhead and too much hardware to be well-suited for tablets.

And worse yet is that using Windows for tablets slows down the company's tablet development. Windows 7 wasn't built for tablets, so a good deal of work will need to be done for any tablet to run that operating system. Apparently, Windows 8 was built with tablets in mind, but its release is nowhere on the horizon.

The upshot? By the time Microsoft gets around to delivering Windows-based tablets, the market will largely be sewn up. This week may just have been the week that killed any chance of Microsoft succeeding in tablets.

This story, "Xoom and iPad 2 May Have Delivered Knock Out Blow to Windows Tablets" was originally published by Computerworld.

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