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Doug's Mailbag: Interested in a Windows Tablet?

Readers give their answers on whether they would or would not be in the market for a Windows tablet device:

Windows on a desktop or laptop, I love it. For an OS to be so compatible with so many hardware vendors and platforms is impressive. Tons of free apps. You could use Windows with freeware-only software titles and not miss a beat from a usage perspective.

Had windows CE lived up to the potential of its desktop counterpart, iOS may have had stiffer competition. With that said, Apples tablet success is due to its iPod/iPhone following. With it being such a popular, well thought out platform, it would be hard to get folks to switch. Especially since the best competitors are more buggy, inferior and lack quality apps. Apple has already dominated the tablet market, slam dunk.

I own every platform of tablet. My personal favorite is the BlackBery Playbook for its overall usage. But based on apps support, I tend to go back to my iPad 1 a lot. If it included Flash, it would be lights-out for the competition.

I think Google stands a better chance than Microsoft at this point. The tablet is no PC replacement -- it should be a mobile accessory to the PC. With that in mind, vendors and developers should know I won't type a thesis on my tablet, but I may need to access, edit or forward it, which a tablet should do. Functionality, reliability, stability and build quality need to be considered. It's these areas especially where the cheaper tablets fall short. Microsoft needs a viable hardware partner, before its considered a competing OS.

I'd buy a Windows (x86) tab for work; we have a fleet of HP tablets running XP and Win7 with good success. They run an electronic health record system, and it works relatively well. You have to have Windows compatibility in most business environments. I wouldn't buy a Windows tablet for purely entertainment purposes. The newly announced Amazon tab for $200 sounds like a pretty high-value solution for my needs.

I'll almost never use a tablet in a 'portable' scenario; if it doesn't fit on my belt, it isn't portable enough. I use my BlackBerry for reading when I have downtime away from the house, and currently use a Playbook for media consumption around the house. The Amazon tab would be just about as good for that purpose, and costs 60 percent less. Of course, I'm not someone who can't stand to be offline for five minutes, so my needs may not be typical; I actually like it when I don't have to carry a phone.

I think the tablet/slate market is still Microsoft's to win or lose. It has the advantage of offering a fully integrated OS that will provide full functionality in a business environment. Maybe this market will splinter into consumer and business segments. The analysts are all academic sh##heads that have no accountability and a poor track record.

Share your thoughts with the editors of this newsletter! Write to Letters printed in this newsletter may be edited for length and clarity, and will be credited by first name only (we do NOT print last names or e-mail addresses).

Posted by Doug Barney on 09/30/2011 at 1:18 PM


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