©IDG Communications, Inc. Photo contributed by Matthew Mikaelian.
Microsoft may have a lot riding on its tablet versions of the Windows 8 operating system, but one market researcher thinks the odds are against them. This is not your grandfather’s PC market, London-based Generator Research declares in new forecasts that see tablet shipments doubling from 120 million units shipped in 2012 to 250 million in 2016.
The problem for Microsoft and for hardware makers, analyst Andrew Sheehy writes, is that tablet hardware does not follow the patterns of the traditional portable markets. For two decades it has been all about hardware — making it smaller, faster, lighter but more robust in speed and storage. This simply is not the case with the tablet. “[It] requires that vendors come to market with an overall proposition that encompasses digital content, apps and supporting services,” Generator writes. This is not a strong suit of the Dells and HPs, nor arguably is it a strength of the dominant PC OS provider Microsoft.