What Windows 8 means for tablets

Could Win 8 tablets deliver the same interface and software as your laptop, and run all day? Here's a look at hopes and reality we know now

By Melissa J. Perenson, PC World |  Windows, tablets, windows 8

Amid the introduction of so many tablets recently, one thing has been clear: There's room for a viable competitor to Apple. Android tablets are still not crashing Apple's iPad party, as evidenced by Apple's runaway sales.

Samsung is one of the top sellers of Android tablets so far, yet even so, an executive at Mobile World Congress admitted the company hadn't been very successful. But where Android tablets have struggled to gain traction, Windows 8 tablets are generating a lot of interest among manufacturers, consumers, and business users alike.

The Wednesday release of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview may serve to strengthen the case for Windows 8 tablets. But as with everything about the upcoming OS, the success of Windows 8 tablets is predicated on the idea that users buy-in to the dramatic Windows redesign.

Windows 8 Tablets: The Great Unifier?

Windows 8 tablets have the potential to provide a uniform experience across devices. It's for this reason that even mobile-centric manufacturers like ZTE are considering Windows tablets as potentially changing the balance of power in the tablet market.

"I do believe a similar thing will happen in tablet world as in smartphone world," says Notes Lixin Cheng, CEO of ZTE USA. "I think iPad's dominance will gradually decrease, and other OS tablets will grow." Windows 8, he adds, "has a high-expectations for those looking for a unified experience across PC, tablet, and smartphone."

As Microsoft demonstrated in Barcelona at its Consumer Preview launch event, Windows 8 works seamlessly across laptops, desktops, and both x86 and ARM-based tablets. Microsoft even started the event by showing how Windows 8 was optimized for finger-friendly navigation on a tablet--punctuating the company's commitment to mobile.

While we've had no official word on Microsoft syncing up its current Windows Phone 7 platform to Windows 8, rumors already abound. Logic dictates that Windows Phone 8 will further extend the Windows 8 experience to your handset.

The idea that your tablet could fundamentally look and function the same way as your laptop or desktop is very appealing; even better is the prospect that you could buy software that scales across all platforms, meaning you're not locked into one device for using the software you want, however you want to use it.


Originally published on PC World |  Click here to read the original story.
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