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back to article FONDLESLAB market DEATH STRUGGLE: Latest rankings in

The latest numbers are in from the battle for global tablet market dominance - and the questions everyone is asking are: Is Apple holding on? Has Microsoft got anywhere yet? Where's Amazon? Has Android crushed everything into tablet paste? The good news for Microsoft is that Surface broke into the ranks of the top five selling …

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Watch this space. Microsoft are playing a crafty game and are caught between a rock and hard place. MS know the PC is on the decline, other players own them in the tablet game and MS need to make huge inroads into this. MS's key asset is in their OEM's who they don't want to upset with mass Surface sales. Yet, in Surface they have created the utopian model that they want their OEM's to aspire too. The delays in shipments, especially the Pro as this would crack the Enterprise market space, and might explain low shipment numbers globally, is imho a delaying tactic, a ruse to encourage innovation in their OEM's in order to attack the Apple and Android space en masse. Surface Pro is a great product, but MS cannot live without their OEM's, let's face it, MS do not do enterprise hardware very well. Just look at the video conference roundtable, it was quickly sold off to Polycom, you won't see a Microsoft brand on the Surface Pro, why... because when the moment is right and OEM's have bought into the tablet and Windows 8, they'll sell it off to the highest bidder.

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I suppose that's one way of looking at it. The other, much simpler, way, is that the market quite likes Android and iOS tablets, and doesn't really like, or see the advantage of, Windows tablets, so isn't buying them.

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Boffin

Actually Win8 Pro steps the game up a little. This is instantly appealing to the Enterprise market, since it has a full fat version of Windows, which is compatible with group policy and company standard software out of the box.

The problem Android and iOS have is that they are proprietary computing environments, each with their own fragmented software development communities. The desktop Windows platform (and consequently, Win8 Pro) is already up to speed, so it is cost effective to roll these out across enterprise.

The attraction doesnt end there either. With the Lenovo Win8 Pro units we have in for testing, we can dual-boot and run pretty much any OS we want on these new slabs. Obviously you'd want to pick something touch-friendly, but it's not necessary since they have full-on keyboard docks.

I see Win8 Pro and OS's like it the future of computing. It combines the best of both worlds. When I buy a tablet (dont have one yet) it will be to replace my laptop. Currently I CANNOT do this, as none of my software will work on an Apple, Android or Win8RT tablet (among MANY other reasons). The versatility of a tablet isnt enough from the Apple, Android and RT world - no power-user or sysadmin could replace their PC with one. Win8 Pro should fix this or at least go some lengths to getting there.

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The problem is Microsoft bet the future on RT. More accurately they bet on the wall garden RT brings and perceived user lockin that creates.

Pro doesn't really help that. Yes having an RT mode is part of the crazy cross promotional, Win8 everywhere plan but 'full fat' Windows doesn't really help the walled garden part. It's hard to see Pros actual appeal extending much beyond use of desktop mode.

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"The problem Android and iOS have is that they are proprietary computing environments"

I think you need to read up on the definition of "proprietary". Windows is about as proprietary as they come, and a lot of people are seeing the huge swell of support for not-WIndows operating systems as a chance to finally kick Microsoft in the teeth so hard they have to put their toothbrush up their arse to clean them in the morning.

Yes, Windows has 30 years of legacy. It also has 30 years of growing hate toward the owning company, and I don't think that should be underestimated.

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Re: @Smoking Gun

Smoking Gun, what have you been smoking?

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windows and byod doesn't match

The main reason for succes of iOS and Android is the ease of use or better the ease of system management of your own device. You don't have to be like a system administrator. Quite different from Windows (Pro/i386/x86_64) devices with its endless ways of installing and updating software from all sources. My experience is that ordinary people are not capable of properly take care of their device. With the controlled environments of Apple and Google this is a no-brainer. Maybe WinRT can compete but this platform lacks all other advantages of 'normal' windows. A very difficult game Microsoft has to play.

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@Greg D

"...since it has a full fat version of Windows,..." Sure it does, but no one wants anything full of fat anymore, or ever did. Also, have you ever considered that you have somehow associated computing power and performance with high disk and memory usage? In the power and resource department, Windows is all fat.

"The attraction doesnt end there either." Hold up on ending and tell us where it began, or better yet, tell the global market.

"...they have full-on keyboard docks." Is this a plus? I'd hope for a Bluetooth or mini USB interface myself.

"The versatility of a tablet isnt enough from..." The versatility of ANY tablet is limited, especially if you are a power user of any kind. It is fine for when we feel like a dreamer, negator, or gamer. However, for the rest of the time, it is clunky and about as advanced as an Etch-A-Sketch.

And of course, your "proprietary" comment. I greatly assume you meant "fragmented" instead, which is true (enough). If you actually meant to use the word "proprietary", don't explain...my head would explode.

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Holmes

Telling who tells what

MS tell you their shipping numbers, all the others tell you their sales numbers.

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Stop

Re: Telling who tells what

To be fair, the stats given here by Blackberry are also shipping numbers.

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Anonymous Coward

Diversity

Great to see more diversity in the tablet market.

I am always surprised to see Asus's sales being so much lower than Samsung, as in London I see the Nexus 7 everywhere on the tube.

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Re: Diversity

I believe my Galaxy Note II is booked as a tablet sale rather than a phone sale even though I use it as a giant phone rather than a tiny tablet. That may explain it.

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At least a Windows Pro tablet is a bonafide PC

I'd be tempted to get a Windows Pro tablet because it runs any existing Windows software. I don't know anybody in their right minds who'd buy a Windows RT which runs sweet FA.

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Happy

Re: At least a Windows Pro tablet is a bonafide PC

> it runs any existing Windows software.

Including all the trojans, viruses and malware.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: As I predicted

Eadon, everyone knows that you were always going to say that Surface will be a failure, purely on the basis that it's an MS product. Therefore your opinion on the matter is completely irrelevant.

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Re: As I predicted

You were predicting for the wrong product. Surface was never intended to be a roaring success. It's a reference machine, a model for other makers. It's been a minor success if it has done that job, but the jury is out until we see the fortunes of other makers.

That will play out by the end of the year. Windows is banking on a cross-platform strategy for Win 8 devices.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: As I predicted

@Eadon - Never knowingly under tiresome.

It may not have been about hating MS, but you obviously do, so was that just a happy coincidence? Also, getting a couple of things argueable correct, doesn't make up for all the other bollocks you continually spout.

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Re: As I predicted

Maybe, but at that it is a failure of epic proportions.

Most if not all major manufacturers have announced scaling back, or completely abandoning their plans for Windows tablets. Because of hardware requirements, licensing, lack of apps and a basically poor quality OS, Windows tablets simply cannot compete on price.

Because of the inefficiency of the OS, performance is dismal compared to same hardware with Android, so at very best, consumers would get a badly performing device, for 90$ more (Windows license vs Free Androis) than same device with Android.

in order to get good performance, consumers would have to pay hundreds more for the better hardware... only to get same performance as cheaper Android with none of the apps... it's a lose, lose, lose situation that Microsoft simply CANNOT win.

Sorry. The design of the UI may work very well on a tablet.... but the core of the operating system just doesn't cut it.

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Unhappy

"Therefore your opinion on the matter is completely irrelevant."

Indeed, however that will not stop him posting the same old, same old.

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Re: As I predicted

I like the look of the Surface hardware. That's a semi-decent concept.

The OS is a pile of vomit, as is the lock-in

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Re: As I predicted

OK Eadon, if you are truly gifted with an insight that the best market analysts could only ever dream to possess - what else is going to fail, you know, non-Microsoft stuff.

Or could it be that you simply state, over and over and over again, that Microsoft will fail, regardless of the product?

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FAIL

<=== MSFT

Congrats, Eadon. Yor predictions proved to be correct but, to be fair, even a Drover's Dog could have made them - in the fast moving world of technology, it seems MSFT have the faecal touch.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: As I predicted

@Eadon - Can you say "Confirmation Bias"?

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Re: I am actually humbled at just how accurate my predictions were

Humbled? Really? You sure you know what that word means?

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FAIL

Re: As I predicted

Eadon, even a broken clock is right twice a day.

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Fix that for you

s/irrelevant/hatstand/

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Re: As I predicted

@Pat4

>Maybe, but at that it is a failure of epic proportions.

>Most if not all major manufacturers have announced scaling back, or completely abandoning their plans >for Windows tablets. Because of hardware requirements, licensing, lack of apps and a basically poor >quality OS, Windows tablets simply cannot compete on price.

Last I looked the "big players" where either announcing new Windows tablet pc or had them just out:

Lenovo: Helix is just out, Thinkpad Tablet 2 is out

Fujitzu: Q702, Q572 are brand new, T732 is just out, T902 is general available

Acer: P3 will be out this month

Toshiba: New Toughtablet is out

Sony: Vaio Duo 11 is general available

Samsung: Ativ500 and 700 are general available

And those are just the penables. There are quite a few touch only (W700/W510 from Acer, Yoga from Lenovo...) with Win8 out as well.

What the (rightly) do is dropping the underperforming ARM platform for Atom (CTrail and starting Q3/Q4 BayTrail) and core-i and a full sized Windows that can do a lot more than iOS/Android when it comes to running software. Including Multi-platform software

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Windows type-slabs are reference machines

MS is just showcasing their technology; they don't want to upstage other makers. Hence the high prices. I don't know whether the silly hybrid design is deliberately part of that showcasing, but it hasn't helped the product if it's rather just a silly hybrid design.

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Interesting that some still prefer inferior hardware

The ipad mini is inferior in all ways to the Nexus 7, yet some hipsters apparently prefer it's bulbous price to the Asus/Google offering. Peculiar.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Interesting that some still prefer inferior hardware

Interesting that some out-of-date tech-heads STILL think "specs = performance".

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Re: Interesting that some still prefer inferior hardware

perhaps as an adjunct to an existing ipad, or an established investment in Apple store purchases....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Interesting that some still prefer inferior hardware

You brought up specs, not him.

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Linux

Re: Interesting that some still prefer inferior hardware

It's the "ecosystem". An iPad user can easily dump Apple for a smaller Android tablet. My local iFan did just that. Dumped her Apple phone in the process too.

That's why Apple finally relented on the smaller tablets. They realized that Android was alone in a segment of the market that they could no longer dismiss.

What keeps people stuck is purchases they can't transfer to another platform. This used to be software but that doesn't seem to be the big problem anymore. The real problem seems to be media content formats that used to be non-proprietary.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Interesting that some still prefer inferior hardware

I think specs was mentioned, based on my POV, that when the "inferior hardware for the price" line is trotted out then specs is what's implied.

If not, then in what way is it inferior?

I'm more than happy with my ipad mini, and *I* can do everything *I* want or need to.

(The emphasis isn't accidental btw)

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Re: Interesting that some still prefer inferior hardware

The iPad mini has front and rear cameras, the Nexus 7 only has a front camera. You don't need a 5MP camera for QR codes and bar codes, so you'll still have people using that rear camera to take actual photographs, but that's people for you.

The iPad Mini also has 5GHz 802.11N, the Nexus 7 only has 2.4GHz.

The Nexus 7 has a higher resolution screen, can read from attached USB devices, and is a LOT cheaper. the 32GB model with Cellular & WiFi costs $299, versus $559 for the 32GB iPad Mini with WiFi & Cellular, though if you use Verizon or Sprint, the Nexus7 isn't an option for you.

You can read and write to USB storage from the Nexus 7 for under $10, the Apple adapter costs $29.

I'm a Nexus 7 user, but I have to admit that the iPad Mini does have a slight edge in some areas. But not enough to justify a 60% price premium!

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MS Surface is an irrelevant product its too expensive anyways and who wants to run MS software on a tablet?

Then there's the compatibility Win 8 Arm can't run legacy windows apps so the question is what is it and who is it aimed at?

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There's nothing that I do today on my Nexus 7 that I couldn't do on a 7" WinRT tablet. If I could get a 7" or 8" WinRT tablet for $250-$300, I probably would, or it would at least be on my shopping list. (I probably wouldn't spend 50% more than a Nexus 7 to get one, but I might let SWMBO buy me one the next time I'm due a present!)

If WindowsRT supported Domain logins and group policy, then a locked down 7" WinRT tablet that could act as a mobile e-mail/IM/document viewer would be a very, very compelling device in many workplaces - it could replace a lot of iDevices very, very quickly. The lack of Active Directory support in WinRT is a huge flaw, because the consumer market has very little interest in a $600 13" tablet.

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Anonymous Coward

"The good news for Microsoft is that Surface broke into the ranks of the top five selling slabs in Q1 but the bad news is that it still remains a bit part player in a highly fragmented sector."

Maybe this will be the year of the windows tablet...LOL

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Did Microsoft just come 5th in a 3 horse race?

1 Apple

2 Android

3 ?

4 ?

5 Windows

What are 3 and 4?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Did Microsoft just come 5th in a 3 horse race?

3 Etch A Sketch

4 A 2nd century Roman 'tabulae ceratae'

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Anonymous Coward

Tablet bundles?

Do these figures include all those mobile deals where you get a 'free' android tablet?

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Anonymous Coward

The real problem with Surface Pro

is that its main claim to fame is being able to run all your Windows desktop software. All your desktop software that was designed for use with a keyboard and mouse, with a convenient flat surface for said mouse to move around on. Software with pull down menus and tick boxes and radio buttons that are definitely not fat finger friendly.

Sadly, the dream is not matched by reality.

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Meh

I have an 8 Pro Tablet...

Here, sat next to me, on eval from Lenovo. Arrived yesterday. I'm a WP8 fan, and a Linux fan, and I have an iPad, Motorola Zoom 2, and even bought a PlayBook... with my own money, no less (guaranteed way to social leprosy, that was). So I count myself as an avid fondler of slabs and not especially OS loyal.

Leaving aside the hardware, which is pretty nice, the 8 Pro tablet is rather underwhelming... Not entirely sure I see the point of it. My customer (who I'm doing the initial eval with) is thinking about them as a laptop replacement. I can't see they're really suitable for that myself; yes, it will run Office properly, and not mangle your macros, but it's too small and underpowered to work on all day - not helped by the odd screen size making it feel smaller than it is. Yes, it does the tablet thing nicely, but so does an iPad.

It seems to fall between the gaps as the market stands currently, really being a netbook with a detachable screen. Most tellingly, I think, is that even as a gadget nut I faffed about with it for a few hours yesterday, and haven't touched it since. It's not bad by any means, and indeed I dearly wanted to be skipping around the place with my shiny held aloft proving the naysayers wrong. As it is, I've not even touched it today.

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Anonymous Coward

Android top dog then.

58% of the market. iOS 32%, everything else also rans....

Microsoft and RIMs numbers are SHIPPED. The others are SOLD...

Interesting...

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WTF?

Ignore the fanboy arguments for a second and consider this

This survey reports that Microsoft had 1.8% of the tablet market. Strategy Analytics earlier this week announced Microsoft with 7.4% share of the tablet market. How useful is the data these research firms are reporting when the figures for the same quarter vary that wildly?

The only number both have in common is the number of Apple shipments, 19.5 million. That's also the EXACT number that Apple reported in their earnings announcement. No coincidence that, I'm sure. I wonder what their own figures had Apple at before they fudged their numbers to fit into Apple's actual sales totals? The reason why they both released this week was because they KNOW they'd look foolish if they released prior to Apple's earnings announcement, and everyone saw how inaccurate their figures really are!

If they can miss that wildly on Microsoft's total (and obviously at least one of them is wildly off on that total given the difference between the two) then why should we trust any numbers they're giving us? Maybe Apple has 39.6%. Maybe they have 60%. Maybe they have 25%. How do we know?

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