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Windows 8 tablets on the horizon

Experts say Windows 8 is better suited to tablets than the desktop, and Apple may have reason to be concerned.

Manufacturers are clamouring to be the first to market with a Windows 8 tablet, according to reports.

Following the launch of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview (at Mobile World Congress, in Barcelona) Dell, Lenovo, HP, Asus and Nokia are all said to be working on their own tablets designed to run the new operating system.

Michael Dell is quoted as saying his company will release an enterprise tablet “on the exact day” that Windows 8 begins shipping.

However, Dell isn't the only company with its eye on the “first to market” prize, and reports have now emerged that Lenovo aims to be the first out of the gate. According to The Verge, the company believes Windows 8 will make its official debut in October.

Another notable contender is Nokia, the phone manufacturer that already has a close relationship with Microsoft regarding the Windows Phone platform.

Nokia's design chief Marko Ahtisaari has been quoted in the press this week as having told a Finnish magazine that the company is spending a considerable amount of time working on a tablet. It has also been previously reported that a 10-inch Nokia Windows 8 tablet can be expected in the fourth quarter of this year.

The new Windows 8 platform has been hailed as a major step forward for Windows and Microsoft as a whole in both concept and design.

Cool factor

World Wide Worx MD Arthur Goldstuck says: “Windows 8 represents the biggest shift in Microsoft's presence on the desktop since Windows 95 replaced Windows 3.1, 17 years ago.

“It is the first version of Windows that can be described as cool, and the first version that makes the operating system more intuitive than the Mac OS.”

Goldstuck adds that the most significant aspect of Windows 8 is the fact that it is “so clearly designed for tablets”.

“It looks great on the desktop, but will be even more compelling on the tablet. It demands to be touched, so is probably better suited to tablet than desktop. However, the desktop version allows for calling up the traditional file management system, and is backward-compatible with most applications, so it straddles both worlds very comfortably.”

Apple threat?

Goldstuck believes Apple has reason to be worried about upcoming Windows tablets. “Unlike Android, it offers a completely different experience, and Windows 8 is in fact better integrated with the content of the device.

“The key apps are not apps at all, but closer to what one could call environments, meaning that the music app, for example, turns the device into a rich music-oriented device. Same with gaming, reading, video and photos, for example.”

Speaking specifically about Nokia, Goldstuck says: “Nokia's entry into the tablet market may well be a more significant moment than the unveiling of the new iPad, as the latter represented merely a slow evolution of the iPad, whereas Nokia will provide a new type of tablet.

“They have clearly been working on it for a long time, so we can expect an integrated, thought-through device that will be tightly married to Windows phones.”


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