Microsoft & Google Will Force Apple Out of the Tablet Wars

In an earlier article, Windows 8 Tablets: The Future of Computing, I outline my thoughts of tablets as the next generation all-purpose computer. One of the disadvantages in the current generation of tablets is they do not address interface devices beyond the touch screen. Windows 8 takes tablets to a new level with an excellent touch-based interface, along side the full desktop experience. This leaves Google’s Android OS far behind in functionality and Apple’s iOS further still. However, it is possible that Google has another player in this space. It would allow them to compete head on with Microsoft and, together, push Apple completely out of the tablet market.

With attention on Android, Google’s other OS is often forgotten. Google released Chrome OS in 2010 during the peak of the netbook boom. The concept was to sell an entirely web-centric operating system with all apps and data hosted in the cloud. As interest in netbooks waned in favor tablets, so did interest Chrome OS. Google never stopped production of Chrome OS and on April 12, 2012 they released an update which has some interesting new features: windowed apps and touch screen support. It’s very likely that the people at Google understand the potential of tablet computers as Microsoft does. Chrome OS could be the next evolution in Google tablets, breaking it free of the confines of present-day Android. That would mean two major competitors in the desktop-class tablet market, which begs the question: Where does this leave Apple?

As current leader in the tablet market, Apple is making no obvious move to compete with this new generation of tablets. The New iPad is only 2 months old. A Newer iPad is months, if not years, away. Apple’s recent dividend payout indicates no serious R&D investment. iOS6 rumors circle around Google Maps and Siri. There’s no indication of any major shift in Apple’s strategy. The iPad, for the foreseeable future, will remain a content consuming device. It’s designed for movie watching, book reading, game playing, web browsing and not much else. There’s no concern for writing, designing and other content producing tasks that people will begin to associate with tablet computers.

As Windows 8, and potentially Chrome OS, change the concept of a tablet. People will begin to consider a Windows tablet as a replacement for their Windows computer. Google can offer a compelling alternative, with its linux base and growing suite of web-based apps. Windows 8 and Chrome OS both have compelling smart phone counterparts in Windows Phone and Android. These offerings will make the iPad feel more like an e-reader, on par with the Kindle and the Nook. There’s certainly a place for such devices on the periphery of the computer market. But they will not hold the same status of “tablet” in the minds of consumers. Whatever future holds, it’s clear that Microsoft and Google will offer us many interesting choices. Very soon you’ll be carrying your entire computer setup with you, no bigger than a tablet.

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8 Responses to Microsoft & Google Will Force Apple Out of the Tablet Wars

  1. KalyanaChakravarthy Banda says:

    90% of products from MS starts of with a Bang due to promotional activity and stuff.
    But vanishes before we get to it.so I don’t think MS has a capability to “force out” apple.infact, apple is way off compared to android lately in European market.seems the article is more confined to usage in US not across the world…

  2. Ole Sandbaek Jorgensen says:

    I tested a Samsung Tablet with the new Windows 8 on it, I was impressed, it is fast, smooth and really seems to work very well.
    So yes I do think that the “war” on the tablet marked will be more lets call it violent, there will be interesting products launched and they will be cool, smart, hip and new.

    However I still think it will be a matter of taste, I had an Android Phone and was very satisfied with it, I have now switched to an Iphone and it is just better, they can more or less the same both of the phones, but in the end the Iphone is more smooth, doesn’t crash or lag, so this product suits my needs right now.
    I’m very happy with my Iphone, but I guess I will try a windows phone (maybe a Nokia Lumia or something) and see how that preforms and maybe it’s better, than my current choice.

    I don’t think any of them will take over the market, but just as iOS, Android and Windows now divide the market of phones (more or less), it will be the same with tablets.

  3. Dave Kuhar says:

    We’ve already seen an attempt at moving the desktop experience to an ultraportable device, the netbook, which existed before the iPad. It failed to set the world on fire.

  4. Fabiano Pereira Soriani says:

    Oh the tabloid news….
    Have you seen windows 98 capabilities and features? What about windows 2000? What about XP? what about.. Vista? Did they look very different to you? And what was Window’s market share for a long long time?
    People don’t just go hopping OSs like that because there is a cooler feature.
    Apple is #1 on tablets, and to be forced out of business is such a shitty statement.
    * I use Ubuntu and Android, but obvious is obvious.

  5. Dirk Bazuin says:

    When the call the ipad a consumer product the missing a lot.
    I use the ipad as a too; for working on sites. Not just looking at them but actualy edit them. My wife works in a nursing home and the use the ipad for reporting.
    The list of business uses for the ipad is very long.

  6. James Billings says:

    This article is clearly for stirring the pots and an attempt at increasing site traffic. The claim is totally bogus! Currently: apple literally own the tablet market and and you sugest there just going to be pushed out – I don’t think so. The only way another tablet is going to get significant share is from under pricing apple.

  7. Steven Luce says:

    You have apparently never stepped into the medical world, or pretty much any customer-oriented business for that matter. The iPad owns the medical industry, where it is used for much more than “movie watching, book reading, game playing, and web browsing.” We use it for everything from patient management to diagnostic assistance. In fact, any business that benefits from a large-format mobile computing device when interacting with customers will find the iPad an attractive tool. Unlike Windows 8 (where only the top-most level of the interface is truly design for a touch-based environment) or Chrome OS (which relies too heavily on less-than-reliable web apps for all of its functionality), iOS is designed from the ground up to be used in a mobile setting. The unforgiving nature of the touch controls in Windows 8 makes it too cumbersome for most mobile tasks, and Google has no intention of bringing Chrome OS tablet-side. So, barring some serious design changes to both OS’s, I think your prediction of the iPad’s death is more than a little premature.

  8. Steven Luce says:

    Oops…one correction.

    The sentence, “We use it for everything from patient management to diagnostic assistance,” should read, “My colleagues in the medical industry use it for everything from patient management to diagnostic assistance.” I started the sentence typing one thought, and changed gears midway through. Unfortunately, I didn’t catch it until after posting.

    Sorry.

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