What Do Windows 8 Tablets Need to Catch On?
As the tablet market takes an increasing chunk out of the laptop market, Microsoft’s efforts to recapture the market depends on Windows 8. What we believe from leaks revealed so far, the tablets will be ARM based and feature a dual interface, with a traditional Windows interface covered by a Windows Phone 7-inspired user interface layer.
Unlike current Windows 7 tablets, this layer will be more than a mere launcher, and will contain actual applications designed for this “Immersive” user interface, with a PDF reader and a multi-tabbed Internet Explorer already being shown off.
Crucially, the applications will be full-screen, much like iPad apps. We also believe Windows 8 will feature an application store which will feature applications written in various high-level development environments such as HTML5, Silverlight and .Net which are inherently cross-platform and cross processor.We also believe the tablets will feature tight integration with Windows Live, much like Windows Phone 7, giving all users for example 25 GB on Skydrive cloud storage, and requiring users sign in using Windows Live to access the app store.
All of this will create a relatively competitive product, but far from a guaranteed success.For this a few things are essential:
The first is the ability to run existing Windows Phone 7 applications, which should number in around 25 to 30,000 by the time Windows 8 launches.
The second is the presence of key applications in the immersive interface. These would primarily be stalwarts like Office and Outlook, which could easily be borrowed from Windows Phone 7.
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The last would of course be the ability to run standard Windows applications – a bigger issue than it appears due to the change to ARM processors and an issue which has not been resolved yet.