The tablet story has been simple and consistent so far in that the iPad continues to be the top dog ever since it was launched over a year ago with everyone else playing a seemingly endless catch up game. The supremacy of the Apple tablet should be reason enough to acknowledge its the iOS that has emerged as the clear winner in the tablet OS battle so far. Sure the Android operating system is emerged as the second largest tablet platform and its marketshare has also been on the rise though the iPad seems like a mountain that can never be scaled. Not even with Honeycomb — a version of Google’s Android OS that has been designed specifically for operation in tablet like devices. Needless to say, Microsoft’s Windows OS has been largely a non player so far though that is likely to change with the coming of Windows 8.
Dell too is betting on Windows 8 as the company’s best chance of success against the iPad, with CEO Michael Dell arguing that the Android slate market “has not developed” as predicted. Dell has also described the PC manufacturer as “very aligned with Microsoft around Windows 8” and teased that “you’ll hear more about Windows 8 from us and see a wide range of products released.”
As for Google’s efforts so far in the field of tablet OS, while Dell stopped shy of dismissing Android altogether as a failure so far, it however did voice concerns about the impact that the Android OS may have in the immediate future. “Android is certainly another opportunity as well,” he conceded, “but that market has not developed to the expectations they would have had.”
All of above does align with what a survey revealed some time ago, that a Windows based tablet is what comes closest to consumers expectation of a proper tablet device. Also, one of the biggest advantage with Windows is the huge ecosystem that is already in place with the Microsoft operating system, something that has also found favor with Dell. In fact, the ecosystem that Windows 8 has is one of the factors that has Dell interested in this OS. “Within the $3 trillion industry that we’re in, the consumer business is worth $250bn” the CEO stated, before also adding “on providing a complete set of solutions to customers, including the device, but we’re not really focused on the device.”
What he meant in this is that, Windows has the advantage of allowing for products that are compatible with the existing infrastructure like that of the servers and also the investments that have already been made in the software side. On the issue of Dell Streak line of tablet PCs, the Dell consumer, small and medium business chief Steve Felice clarified: “We launched a series of products and they’ve sold, but we launched them all in small volumes to see customer reaction and behavior.”
However, whether all of the above will boil down to a future Dell tablet running Windows 8 which will meet with the kind of success that only Apple has achieved with the iPad is something that only time can tell. We will have to wait till maybe the middle of next year to come across anything substantial on this. Till then, we sure will be treated with speculations, rumors and leaks coming our way.