Wanted: Windows Tablets

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The iPad and the coming wave of Android tablets seem to have the tablet market sewn up. But there's some surprising good news for Microsoft: A recent survey says that the Windows-based tablets are at the top of consumers' wish lists.

The New York Times' Gadgetwise blog says that a recent survey by Forrester on the tablet marketplace found that the most requested tablet operating system is Windows. The Times reports:

According to Forrester's survey of more than 3,800 people, the N0. 1 operating system people want on a tablet is Windows. And why not? Windows still enjoys a dominant position in the PC market, and since people are used to it, they want it --- or some version of it --- on tablet devices.

That's certainly very good news for Microsoft, and shows that there's a pent-up demand for Windows-based tablets. But there's bad news for Microsoft as well. The current and next generation of Windows-based tablets simply aren't ready for prime time. They're based on Windows 7, which wasn't built for tablets, and so the devices simply can't stand up to the iPad or Android tablets like the Motorola Xoom. So even though people might want Windows tablets today, when they look at what's on offer, they likely won't buy.

It's looking as if Windows 8 --- supposedly designed with tablets in mind --- won't be out until the late summer of 2012. In technology years, that's decades away. So it's not at all clear whether consumers will feel about Windows tablets then the way they do today. By that time, they might have already tested out an iPad or Android tablet, and decided that maybe they don't need Windows on a tablet, after all.

This story, "Wanted: Windows Tablets" was originally published by Computerworld.

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