While other analysts haven't placed their bets on Windows 8 to lead the change from PCs to more mobile tablets, they have predicted that hardware able to really handle both content creation and consumption are not far off.
In a separate interview this week, Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, pegged 2014 as the year when such devices become reality. "In 2014 there will be broad adoption of new processor technologies from Intel and AMD, for that matter from ARM," said Moorhead of his prediction that chip makers will have silicon by then that not only sips power at tablet-appropriate rates but has the horsepower necessary for content creation. "This is going to happen. And that means there won't be a robust, premium 10-in. tablet-only market."
The success of Windows 8, by Buffone's take, will thus be critical not only for Microsoft's future, but for the 40-year-old-and-counting concept of the personal computer.
"I see Windows 8 as the only prominent solution [to merging content creation and consumption], but that will happen only if enough consumers buy those devices, and Microsoft is able to show them the value proposition," he said.
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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