windows 8 samsung tablet1 Industry giants betting heavily on Windows 8s success

Microsoft is infamous for taking other’s innovation and making it “better,” Intel is famous for expensive processors, and the OEMs that uses Microsoft’s and Intel’s products in their own product are famous for hiring a lot of low-wage workers.  That said, will Intel’s, Microsoft’s, and OEMs’ past success continue to thrive with Windows 8 or will the world experience a complete shift towards Apple’s end to end products and Android’s open source platform?

windows 8 samsung tablet1 Industry giants betting heavily on Windows 8s success

Microsoft is infamous for taking other’s innovation and making it “better,” Intel is famous for expensive processors, and the OEMs that uses Microsoft’s and Intel’s products in their own product are famous for hiring a lot of low-wage workers.  That said, will Intel’s, Microsoft’s, and OEMs’ past success continue to thrive with Windows 8 or will the world experience a complete shift towards Apple’s end to end products and Android’s open source platform? 

Computex 2012 is over, and although it may seem that the research and development of the various products showcase feats of design and ingenuity, the products also reflect a hazy outlook for the Microsoft-Intel-OEM alliance.

Microsoft has been under pressure for years now to create a Microsoft exclusive platform that can compete with Android and Apple OS/iOS.  While the majority of the world still uses Windows PCs, the reality is that the technology landscape has shifted towards mobility, and that is where Android and iOS have dominated. 

This is evident because Windows Phone comprises of only about 7-8% of the world’s total smartphones, whereas Android has a stake of about 60% and iOS with 20%.  Whether or not Microsoft’s Metro platform takes off remains to be seen, and Microsoft will have to go above and beyond to persuade iOS and Android app developers to give Metro a shot. 

Intel is under pressure to put more resources into R&D of mobile processing and to cut prices on their chips— something Intel is known to not do.  The iPad and ARM equipped Android tablets are becoming more and more popular as 19.4 million units were shipped in 2010, but that number exploded to 68.4 million in 2011—and is expected to increase by 85% in 2012.  The rapid growth of non-Intel based tablets has caused Intel to put a lot of resources into Ultrabooks, which Intel hopes will help the laptop PCs regain lost ground. 

OEMs are under pressure to cut prices on all their products without reducing quality.  Apple has created a cult following for their products, and Android has seduced manufacturers with a royalty-free OS that is highly optimized for ARM chips.  OEMs that are still hanging onto Microsoft and Intel for an OS and CPU for their products are stuck with paying for an OS and Intel’s expensive chip. 

ARM processors are already optimized for mobile devices—and it certainly does not cost as much as an Intel chip—so manufacturers that have chosen to go the Android-ARM route can build high quality devices without cutting corners.  Moreover, people within the industry speculate that Microsoft plans to charge OEMs approximately $100 for each Windows 8 OS installation, and Windows Phone 8 may follow with a premium price tag as well.

The outlook for the Microsoft-Intel-OEMs alliance doesn’t look very good, but perhaps Windows 8 will turn their bleak circumstance around.  The key to its success is not so much in how it may or may not outperform competing platforms, but rather experts predict that Windows 8 needs heavy amounts of promotions.

What makes this whole thing a mess is that Microsoft is playing catch up to Android and iOS in the mobility department, Intel is refusing to cut prices on its processor, and OEMs is pay high royalties to Microsoft and Intel while under pressure to make high quality products.  These three groups have long been each other’s benefactor, but if Windows 8 fails we may experience an industry-wide storm of resentment and bad blood. 

Reference: reuters.com