The sole purpose behind Microsoft’s decision to radically redesign its latest Windows operating system in terms of interface was based on a single reason. To take the mantle of ‘king of tablets’ away from Apple. As many of us who have used Windows 8 already know, the new OS is a hybrid in terms of the interface. The new ‘start screen’ with live tiles looks more suited to a mobile device, specially a tablet than a desktop PC (Scroll still works well enough on a non-touch device though). In fact, touch input is so well rooted in Windows 8 that it has heralded a new age of touch enabled Windows devices, including the sudden abundance of device that are both a tablet and a laptop and more touch enabled all in one PCs than we have ever seen before.
Considering all this one would naturally assume that Windows 8 will take the tablet market by storm. But Forrester analyst Frank Gillett says otherwise. In a blog post explaining the findings of their research Gillett says that Windows 8 will be more successful on desktop PCs than on any other device and actually, not be a game changer in the tablet market.
Windows 8 will see a slow start, as is always the case with new Windows operating systems, as users will take time to switch from Windows 7 and accept the new interface. But this will change by 2014 as the numbers start to grow, says Gillett. On the other hand, Windows 8 tablet sales will reach their peak very soon, but sales will eventually slow down, which will make Microsoft “simply a contender in tablets” rather than the leader, he said.
The report forecasts that by 2016 Microsoft with their Windows 8 OS will remain stable and continue to lead the PC market. However, by the same year Microsoft’s hold on the tablet market will only be about 27 percent. Even worse will be its smartphone market share, which the report predicts at 14 percent, at a “distant third.”