Android Tablets and Windows 8: Let the Games Begin

By Jack M. Germain

Linux Insider turns to Artyom Astafurov, Senior Vice President at DataArt, to help decipher the future of the tablet market.

The release of Windows 8 will give Microsoft the chance to attack the tablet market that Android and Apple have basically owned for months. What effect with Windows 8 have on Android tablet sales? Will enterprises kick Android to the curb and scoop up Windows tablets by the fistful? Or is it too little, too late from Microsoft?

“In his dealings with Microsoft in discussing the Metro-driven tablet, Artyom Astafurov, senior vice president of DataArt, did not get much insight to how Redmond's upcoming release would address the Android obstacle. His company is a custom software development firm that builds advanced solutions for select industries. He asked about how Microsoft was planning on competing against the Android market and claimed he did not get a response.

“I do not see consumers switching from their current devices to a Windows 8 device,” Astafurov told LinuxInsider. However, he said, the new devices will take market share from Android. From what he saw at the Consumer Electronics Show in January and what he is seeing now, Astafurov views Microsoft as taking its desktop OS and putting a tablet shell over it. “It will probably increase their market share by attracting users who see the tablet as another form of a laptop PC in their briefcase,” he said.

But more so than just another tablet option, Astafurov sees Microsoft's integrated tablet OS with its desktop platform as an attention-gaining approach that will change how enterprise adapts to tablets in the workplace. “As an app developer, I will have to jump through hoops to recompile my existing products to get them to run in both Windows environments. From my understanding, we will have to do much more tweaking in porting our apps from the Windows 7 phone to the Windows 8 tablet. That isn't the way it is in integrating apps between the iPhone and the iPad or Android phones and tablets,” said Astafurov. The cost to vendors for doing this for Windows 8 tablets will be higher than what it costs them to work in the Android environment or iPad, for instance. Potentially, this can be a problem for Microsoft, he warned. “I can see some companies being sluggish in porting their apps to the Windows 8 tablet. This is especially likely given how slow the apps market for Windows Phone 7 is,” Astafurov said.”

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