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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Could Tablets be the Death of Windows?

windows2011 is likely to be 'the year of the tablet'. We've already had glimpses of Google's Android 3.0 aka Honeycomb courtesy of the Motorola Xoom, no doubt there will be plenty more Android tablets following in its footsteps and RIM is set to launch its Playbook.  As if that weren't enough we now have HP bringing the WebOS platform it inherited after purchasing Palm to the tablet market and don't forget iPad 2.  The only notable absentee from the tablet party is Microsoft.

Given Microsoft have the most to lose from the onslaught of  tablets as a replacement to PCs you'd expect they will need to up their game and fast, if the cash cow that is Windows isn't to start to lose ground to the likes of iOS, Android and WebOS.  That said, the advent of the tablet isn't likely to be the death of the PC, at least not any time soon.  As I heard recently (I forget where), tablets are for consumption, PCs production.  And until the tablet becomes a genuine replacement for the productivity brought about through PCs, predicting the demise of Windows seems a little premature.

Ironically, the downward spiral of another tech giant could yet be Microsoft's saviour.  Nokia has seen its market share fall substantially over the last year, particularly in the smartphone market where it has been unable to come up with an answer to the iPhone or Android.  Meego was supposed to be its next big thing, but rumour suggests that development on its first Meego handset has already ceased.  Rumours have been around all week that Nokia could partner with someone such as Microsoft to try and get back into the smartphone game.  Certainly it would be big boost for Microsoft who have long been also rans in the mobile world, while Nokia would gain from having a market ready smartphone OS. Then again, given Microsoft's history in the mobile market and Nokia's current decline, it could also be a recipe for disaster.

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