Dell believes it can sell Windows 8 tablets

Tim Greene
26 March, 2012
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Dell thinks it can make a buck off Windows 8 tablets, despite the fact that it pretty much abandoned its Android tablets last year.

Dell’s Chief Commercial Officer Steve Felice told Reuters this week that he thinks disaffection with iPads by corporate IT departments creates an opportunity to sell mobile devices that run on Windows – something they are familiar with.

“On the commercial side there are a lot of concerns about security, interoperability, systems and device management and I think Dell is in the best position to meet those,” Felice says.

In addition to taking a run at Windows 8 Dell may also fire up its Android tablets again, but that is to be seen. “We have a roadmap for tablets that we haven’t announced yet,” he says. “You’ll see some announcements…for the back half of the year. We don’t think that this market is closed off in any way.”

Butting heads with iPads

Two postings by Microsoft indicate that it’s not only inevitable that tablets based on Windows 8 be compared to iPads, Microsoft is actually encouraging the comparison. First, the company supports a web page that instructs Windows 8 developers how to reshape their iPad apps into Metro style apps and points to a site that details how much they can get paid for those apps. It also touts certain Metro navigation and control features as being superior to those employed by Apple.

The second posting on the Building Windows 8 blog outlines the screen resolutions that Windows 8 tablets can support. It turns out the maximum screen resolution is higher than that for the new iPad and its famous Retina display. The post is about how to write Metro apps so they look good on any screen size with any resolution above minimum Windows 8 requirements, but it’s hard to miss that the maximum resolution (291 ppi) is greater than the new iPad’s (265).

PC market health relies on Windows 8

IDC reports that the growth of PC sales in 2011 were slow and that it will stay slow through midyear. It says there is some hope at the end of this year and the beginning of next for increased growth, but that will depend on Windows 8.

“2012 and 2013 will bring significant changes for Microsoft and the PC community,” says IDC analyst Jay Chou.

“Windows 8 and Ultrabooks are a definitive step in the right direction to recapturing the relevance of the PC, but its promise of meshing a tablet experience with a PC body will likely entail a period of trial and error, thus the market will likely see modest growth in the near term.”

That’s a lot of pressure on Windows 8, which clearly has been tuned for touchscreen tablets. Microsoft may be trying to help out the PC market by its persistent use of the term PC for things that are clearly not PCs. For example, it refers to its Windows on ARM devices – mainly tablets – as WOA PCs.

Windows 8 due out in October

This old general consensus earned new headlines this week when Bloomberg reported that anonymous sources confirmed October as the launch month. In addition to pointing up the hysteria surrounding the pending release, the story also served to put forth some detail about what Windows 8 devices will be ready to roll on launch day. The same unnamed sources say three ARM tablets and more than 40.

 

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