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Windows 8 the iPad killer? Massive FAIL

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(happygeek)
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Microsoft failed to make tablets work with Windows for PEN Computing twenty years ago, so why are some people saying that it is set to dethrone the iPad later this year? Can Windows 8 really prove to be a commercial threat to iOS?

win8ipad.jpg I still have my Compaq Concerto from 1992, which is generally accepted as the first ever mainstream Tablet PC. It ran Windows for PEN Computing Version 1, which was actually just Windows 3.1 with some rather rudimentary pen input add-ons included. Although I have sentimental reasons for hanging on to the world's first real commercial tablet, I will readily admit that it sucked elephants through a straw and the reason why was that damn-awful PEN Windows OS abomination.

So when a press release hit my desk this morning which loudly and proudly promised to explain why Windows 8 is going to be, and I quote "fierce competition" for the iPad, I was all eyes. Especially since I am more used to getting press releases which proclaim how the latest Android-powered device or Android OS iteration knocks the socks off of the Apple tablet.


Ever since the bad start with PEN Windows, Microsoft has never quite managed to cut the mustard as far as the tablet computing market is concerned. So why should Windows 8 be any different? Karl Volkman of SRV Network, Inc. (a Microsoft Gold Certified partner, it should come as no surprise) reckons that Windows 8 may "beat the iPad in some ways" and goes on to highlight three key features of the new OS by way of example.


1. Windows 8 is more customizable

Volkman suggests that because Windows 8 lets you personalise tools and tiles on the Start screen by moving and naming them, along with the ability to save your favourite websites and tools to the screen, it allows your Windows 8 powered tablet to be more personal than the iPad.

I have to say that my iPad 2 is pretty personal to me, what with my custom wallpaper and my custom folders holding all my apps in named (by me) categories. Many of these being, of course, online services and sites which I have saved to my tablet desktop using the not at all complicated process of selecting 'Add to Home Screen' from within Safari whilst browsing the web. I really don't think that Windows 8 will worry the average iPad user in this regard. If it's a customisable competitor you want then surely Android is your man. If it's an even more customisable iPad you are after, then there's always the jailbreaking route to ultimate personalisation.


2. Internet Explorer 10 is the fastest Internet browser

Volkman insists that Internet Explorer 10 is super speedy and that means websites will load in seconds, and clicking out of unused sites will also be faster.

Well whoopee-blinking-doo, to be honest. Internet Explorer 10 may well prove to be fractionally faster than Safari or any other tablet browser client, but I hope Mr Volkman is sitting down as what I am about to say may come as something of a shock: websites already 'load in seconds' on my iPad 2 using iOS 5.1 and a 11Mbps broadband connection, or even the much slower 3G connection when I am on the move. Websites that I have finished with can be clicked out of in, well I have never actually bothered to measure the amount of time it takes as 'blink of an eye' is quick enough for anyone surely? Safari on iOS may not be perfect, but speed has never been an issue with me in all the time I've used an iPad. Security is, and Safari rates pretty highly in this regard. Internet Explorer on the other hand...


3. Windows 8 can hold more devices

And finally, Volkman puts forward the argument that using the Devices function enables Windows 8 to easily access multiple files and add-ons in a single domain as his final compelling reason as to why Windows 8 will prove 'fierce competition' to the iPad.

Try selling Windows 8 on the back of this functionality to your average consumer and watch them drop into a coma right there in the store. Try convincing existing iPad owners that this is the missing functionality they have been waiting for and watch them not flock to switch to Windows 8 in their droves. Are you serious? This pretty much smells like straw clutching to me now.


With the iPad 3 hitting the shelves before Windows 8 even wakes up, replete with that gorgeous new screen resolution and much faster graphics processor, I have to admit that I cannot see Apple quaking in its boots at the prospect of any Windows 8 powered tablet nor, to be honest, can I see many prospective purchasers being tempted to turn towards Windows 8 instead of iOS. Indeed, surely Android remains the biggest threat to the iPad, and Windows 8 is unlikely to change that in any meaningful way.

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Davey Winder

I'm a hacker turned writer and consultant, specialising in IT security. I've been a freelance word punk for over 20 years and along the way I have seen 23 of my books published, produced and presented programmes for TV and radio, picked up a bunch of awards and continue being a contributing editor with PC Pro - the best selling IT magazine in the UK .

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PsYcHoTicTac
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Yes, it does seem to be a stretch of the imagination but when you state that the ipad 3 has a much faster processor, I'm afraid that your credibility takes a nose dive. The CPU is the same, only the GPU is more powerful in that it is now quad core to cope with the quad-increase in resolution.

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happygeek
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I have made it clear in the copy now that it is the graphics processor which is upgraded, in case anyone else was confused by it. The quad-core processor still puts it ahead of most (all?) of the competing tablets though. The graphics processing being, after all, one of the more important aspects of such a graphically intensive UI as iOS on an iPad.

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WP7Mango
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Windows 8 is not about being an iPad killer. When you look at all of Apple's products, only the iPad (in my view) stands out. There are other phones better than the iPhone (including the new Nokia WP7 phones) and there are OEM laptops and desktops which are better than Apple's offerings. The only place where Apple truly excels is the iPad.

The iPad bridges the gap between the phone and the laptop. For a huge number of people it will NEVER replace the laptop for serious work. The iPad is geared more towards content consumption than content creation, and for that it is perfect.

However, the iPad is restricted in what it can do. For example, it can't display two apps side by side. It's only available in 4:3 size and not in widescreen format. Some people will want a tablet that overcomes these limitations and for that segment, Windows 8 will allow tablet manufacturers to provide a better experience than what the iPad offers for those that need it.

Therefore I don't think Win 8 is anything to do with killing the iPad - and why should it be? The iPad is afterall a nice device, which works great and is liked by millions. Windows 8 provides the means for the OEMs to offer more options in the tablet market, and offer better options for the corporate market. I'm sure that the likes of Nokia could develop a beautiful highly desirable tablet that could well be an iPad killer. But it's not Windows 8 itself that is the iPad killer - it's the manufacturers like Nokia who could make an iPad killer.

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pseudorandom21
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I think Micro$oft can do eet.

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rikg
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Okay, is this article just trying shout down Karl Volkman's piece about why Windows 8 is an iPad killer? In which case, surely "Karl Volkman on Windows 8: Massive Fail" would be a better title for you?

So, massive fail - your only argument, other than to diss this guy's 3 points, is to say "Microsoft's done it before AND FAILED."

But that was 20 years ago! In tech, that's several life times. I once used a Newton (though several years after they were discontinued), and I thought it was pretty crap - didn't stop Apple making the iPad amazing, did it.

I agree that this guy's 3 points aren't compelling reasons as to why Windows 8 is an iPad killer, but that doesn't say anything - it's been proved that features don't/aren't the only thing that make tablets (or any hardware) good. But these three points are not the only reasons why Windows 8 may give the iPad some competition - for one, it'll run *any* Windows App - that's pretty amazing. A designer friend of mine has been critical of PhotoShop for iPad. Well for windows 8, you get PhotoShop - the real one! Nice. That's a pretty big plus.

So, Massive Fail? Maybe - but we'll have to wait and see. This article does absolutely nothing to prove this one way or the other.

And before you start dissing this Windows fanboy here, I have - and love - an iPad, and have the new one on the way.

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Singleton
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Have you ever used Windows 8? On a PC? On a tablet?

It seems like you are talking about things that YOU HAVE NEVER USED. It clearly shows in the "Windows 8 is more customizable" rant that you delivered. Are you paid per word? This article contains absolutely no insight at all and is poorly researched. This makes it a waste of time for the readers and a waste of money for DaniWeb. I sure would like 5 minutes back.

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happygeek
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Yes the article was a response to the Volkman release.

Yes I have used Windows 8 on a PC.

No I am not paid by the word.

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diafol
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I suppose I'm the only one here that enjoyed this article. :(

W8/Tablet - OK, but I'd say so what. As mentioned, iPad fills a niche at the mo, some competition out there at last, but can't see a W8-enabled tablet killing it off.

Anyway, some like their reporting to be vanilla without the vanilla. As long as the facts are not too massaged, I don't mind an actual opinion, even if I don't agree with it.

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stormonasurface
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rikg:

it'll run *any* Windows App

It actually won't run *any PC windows app at all* as long as the processor being used in the tablet is ARM. And that trend isn't likely to change.
You see PCs (MAC computers included) have CPUs with X86/64 architecture these days and programs that are written to work on x86/64 wont work on an ARM architecture period

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rikg
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rikg:
It actually won't run *any PC windows app at all* as long as the processor being used in the tablet is ARM. And that trend isn't likely to change.
You see PCs (MAC computers included) have CPUs with X86/64 architecture these days and programs that are written to work on x86/64 wont work on an ARM architecture period

Not hate - just mild annoyance. I just fail to see how the article itself and the title of the article relate, that's all. Perhaps if the author had gone into details, such as this detail you have educated me on, saying that it will fail because most Windows 8 tablets wont run native windows apps, and stuff, then I'd have not thought so ill of the original article.

To be honest, this divide between Intel/Arm could be a big problem for Windows 8, could it not? Again - I'm not necessarily disputing the title of the original article - just that the content of the article does nothing to back it up.

Regardless, thank you! I had not thought of this. A quick search reveals that at least HP and Lenovo are both working on Intel based Windows 8 tablets, but I do take your point - at least at the lower end of the market, I would fully expect pretty much all Windows 8 tablets to be arm based.

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WP7Mango
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rikg:
It actually won't run *any PC windows app at all* as long as the processor being used in the tablet is ARM.

That's not strictly true either. Any ARM tablet will run some PC Windows apps, but only those which have been written by Microsoft and recompiled for ARM. So it looks like 3rd parties can only write Metro apps for ARM tablets.

That is why all the ARM tablets will also have a desktop mode and will include Microsoft Office, free of charge from what I have read.

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stormonasurface
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Rikg, thats probably an error from my side that you thought I was labelling your post as a hate post. I actually was pointing to the original article/thread.

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niltips
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I learn a lot from your post and some of the answers. thanks

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fahimk123
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i think windows 8 will give good competition as it would be more user friendly

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RonSebastian
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I am curious to read all about window 8 . but not got mcuh info still thanks for the info hope to read more about the topic.

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gvlral
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With 3 Destops, 1 Laptop, 1 Notebook running 4 different OSs. I can see how a good windows tablet with USB, HDMI and various different cards supported could blunt the iPad juggernaut. A lot of people of which I'm one just don't like how Apple controls the usage of an $800+ machine. For those who only use their tablet as an appliance for social media the iPad is probably the way to go. The ability to run full size applications such as Quicken or other non main stream software will push the others in my opinion to one of the new tablets running Windows 8. Again, it depends on MS not pulling a Vista.

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johhny-marshal
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Microsoft's new Saurface tablet is a killer of Apple's iPad. It has pre-installed Windows 8 and all new features which are never seen.

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dmcaarlson
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The pricing on the Surface (ARM versions starting at $199) could certainly dent any iPad 7-inch interest. Combine it with the positive comments on the Nexus7 and latest Samsung Galaxy, it is likely more people will at least look beyond the iPad. Having said that, I'm not convinced that the desktop is going to help adoption. It must be acknowledged that iPad apps are not identical on MacBook or iMac either (nor do they have a consistent UI).

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lbucci
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I just want to sit on the fence about Windows 8, just for now, as my position is I love it so far but I am involved in a large organisation that may want to upgrade to WIN8. This organisation has more than 10,000 plus PC’s and dosen't have the most youthful demographic of users.

To start my dilemma of Windows 8, I was in a local computer store yesterday and this old Grand-Pop was arguing with one of the shop assistants(SA) that somehow this (SA) had ripped him off and he wanted a refund or a different computer etc, etc.. Eventually I heard enough to understand he was complaining about having Windows 8 on his new computer. He could not get into anything or shut it down and had spent hours trying to get it going so he could surf. (Sounded like he never got to surf)

My eight year old son also has trouble using it and now has moved over to our iMac 27” and asks if a game is available on the mac. We use to fight to get on the windows machine. He now has unconsciously move away from Windows eight. (Thank you Microsoft) :)

I think training is required for the lay persons for sure before leaving the store. I have spent time with my son trying to teach him WIN8 but he lost interest and believes in his head it is too hard, which really it isn’t. Which reminds me of the old man.

Can you imagine if this organisation upgraded to win8.. ‘yer! It aint gonna be pretty’ :) Really need to pilot first and then decide instad of imposing WIN8 on all these users.

One good thing is my wife is happy about the less time our son spends on the computers now, as sits on her iPad while we eat diner. People are funny.

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