Microsoft won’t have iPad competitor until 2012?

Microsoft iPad competitor may not hit until 2012
Microsoft iPad competitor may not hit until 2012

If you saw the Apple iPad 2 and wanted to wait to see Microsoft’s response, you may have to wait a long time. A report out of Businessweek suggests that a true Microsoft iPad competitor won’t hit the market until the back-to-school time in 2012. Yowza.

We already know that Microsoft’s tablet strategy is Windows – has said this multiple times and it will stick with it. The problem is that no matter how much UI goodness you do to Windows 7, it’s not great on tablets because it’s not optimized for a multitouch experience that users demand.

So, that means the Microsoft iPad competitor will be running Windows 8, which is rapidly being developed. I expect a beta of Windows 8 to hit later this year with the full version landing in the Spring of 2012. We’ve seen the leaked Dell roadmap which has a Windows 8 tablet scheduled for the second quarter of 2012 to further cement this report.

Still, that seems like a long, long time for a Microsoft iPad competitor to really hit the market. Yes, we’re still in the nascent stages of the tablet market and the software giant will argue that much was made about Linux dominating the netbook space in the early years before Windows came and dominated it.

The problem is that the tablet space is a bit different. Not to parrot Steve Jobs, but this is a post-PC era and patterns and purchasing decisions may be made earlier. Even if the Microsoft iPad competitor rocks our socks off, at least 30 million tablet users will be locked into the Apple ecosystem without an easy way to transition. Throw in the similar lock-in effect of apps with Honeycomb, webOS and Research In Motion and Microsoft may have a tough row to hoe.

Still, if the market is just developing (and it is), I would prefer that Microsoft get it right rather than just getting it out. In an ideal world though, it could get something good out much sooner.

What do you think, friends?

[Via Bloomberg BusinessWeek, photo]

  • Anonymous

    Hurry up Microsoft, i can’t stand Apple. And as a developer, Windows is clearly what i am aiming for and will still work on for a long time.

  • i am waiting for an ubuntu tablet.

  • Dear MSFT: Sorry to say, you are too late in this market area

  • I said on another site that there is a potentially huge story being glazed over here. MS is behind here no doubt; but if they execute a successful UI design, they will have the only fully featured OS competing with mobile OS’ in the tablet market.

    What is post PC? I doubt it means post personal computing so I would assume that means post desktop, laptop etc and more tablet with optional keyboards and accessories. In that case Mac OS is the platform that is late to the game and this becomes Windows 8 vs. iOS vs. Android battle and that paints a much different picture for the future.

  • Anonymous

    MS will try to bring Metro UI and Silverlight development environment to tablets, mimicking their WP efforts.

    However, charging $x0 for each tablet for OS license is going to make it difficult for mfgs go compete.

    Further, if the tablets will not run Windows apps (more than likely), it’s another issue for those tablets.

    Even further, MS has been unable really make an OS that does not kill the battery on a higher speed CPU.

    It remains to be seen if MS can solve all these issues at their “good enough” level of effort by 2012.

    If not, they will try to compensate with a huge marketing budget.

  • Microsoft already have something that apple doesn’t have and it’s in my opinion cooler and more advanced
    It’s windows surface 2 and i know it’s not remotely close but there’s no laws against moving in different directions and exploring new grounds or surfaces (check you tube)

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