back to article For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets

Lenovo has pulled some 8-inch Windows tablet models from the US market, citing lack of demand, but a Lenovo spokesman has told The Register that contrary to reports, the Chinese firm has no intention of giving up on smaller Windows fondleslabs in the US. ITworld was first to claim that the Lenovo ThinkPad 8 and the smaller model …

Anonymous Coward

Why would anyone want Windows (especially 8) on a tablet?

iPads are great. Android is, too. So many people are now used to Android/Apple mobes that a tablet for home use doesn't have any learning curve involved.

With Win 8, I'd have to learn a whole load of new tricks to operate the damn thing. Hidden controls, swipes and gestures to discover?! Can't be arsed! It's very off-putting, as far as I'm concerned. I just don't want to play.

I don't want to support MS's attempts to create a walled-garden app store. They've lost this game so far, and I'm not willing to allow them any tiny chance to catch up. Much as I'm quite at home on XP and Win 7 and earn a living with their software, I still can't get over the distaste for all their ill deeds over the years and I'm glad to see competition giving them a good battle.

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Holmes

Re: Why would anyone want Windows (especially 8) on a tablet?

Oh, I dunno. Maybe to run your productivity programs if you work in an office that uses Windows-only software? Like about 80% of the offices in the world? Dumbass.

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Re: Why would anyone want Windows (especially 8) on a tablet?

Productivity programs on a home tablet? (enterprise for the most part could give a flying f__k about tablets) Yep the demand is so great that the article is about Lenovo cutting production huh dumbass?

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Because learning new systems and supporting walled gardens absolutely fine and completely necessary if those are Apple or Google systems and walled gardens while obviously it's a nasty monopolistic power grab if MS do it.

Right.

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Re: Why would anyone want Windows (especially 8) on a tablet?

I have the Dell Venue Pro 8, cheap, great little table and everything works. It replaced a Google Nexus 7 which I used for reading, internet surfing, watching videos on the move etc.

I found that with Android and Apple tablets, not all web pages would work properly, since using the Windows 8 tablet, no more issues, it came with office and I can install any Windows app I have. You don't have to use the app store.

This is not a device for work, but you could if you needed to, add a bluetooth mouse and keyboard and you can.

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Re: Why would anyone want Windows (especially 8) on a tablet?

That might be why they'd BUY them. But then reality struck and they realised that all the things they imagine make their workers productive are in fact completely unusable on a tablet (it's good at other things, but not deskbound jobs). So orders fell off.

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Anonymous Coward

Learning curves and walled gardens

Original Poster replying (and intrigued by the proportion of up/down votes!)...

But - what I meant was : most people have already jumped onto the tablet/smartphone bandwagon and have already made the effort to learn iWhatever and Android, and don't need/want to make yet another effort to learn something else when they're quite happy with what they've got. Fair enough if you're in the minority who have never made the leap yet, but that's not what I was saying.

As for walled gardens, I do think they have advantages and disadvantages, but my position is this : over the years MS has become the dominant force in desktop computing, and up to now it has been as open as you could wish - install anything you like from anywhere. That too has it's downsides with the ease of installing malware, and the Linux camp will obviously swear by having trusted repositories but personally, having tried Linux I find it's a pain in the nethers when my distro is now out of date and abandoned and I can't update anything without delving down into yet more layers of arcane know-how, or copying everything off.. reinstalling a new OS ver.. copying everything back on.. trying to remember how I got WiFi and screen brightness adjustments working in the first place... !

So, given how open Windows has been, with lots of software still working from way back when, I don't want to do anything - however much a spit in the ocean - that will encourage a slow move away from that towards an MS walled garden. I accept them on my Android devices because I'm happy with the limitations there (I'm not intending to do much out of the ordinary on a tablet or smartphone) but I'd rather keep the status quo on the desktop.

I hope that clarifies my position. All opinions welcomed....

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Re: Learning curves and walled gardens

It sucks when the distro you know and like gets less popular. But at least there's a good choice of alternatives : you don't have to make the winxp/win8 or win/mac switch.

I suggest :

Move all your user data to its own partition, i.e. make /home a dedicated partition or even drive.

Install a new distro, whatever flavour of the month is (probably Mint, unless you have specific preferences).

Be careful not to lose /home, it's not difficult but does need you to think about your install answers. For additional safety, use a separate drive and disconnect it while installing the OS.

Install appropriate applications

Profit.

This is probably much like you'd do on Windows, except that it's a lot easier to keep data in the right place when it's in a home directory rather than where the application chooses, especially as Windows isn't helpful in maintaining a separate drive / partition as a user space.

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Happy

Re: Why would anyone want Windows (especially 8) on a tablet?

Well funnily enough some people do have a user-case for a highly mobile form-factor that can run full fat Windows. I am sitting at my kitchen table typing this post on my - yes, you guessed it - ThinkPad 8. I rebuilt our heavy-lifter for our home office 2 - 3 months ago for the very obvious reason that there are clearly tasks that can only in reality be performed on a full desk-top pc and it was worth plonking down the 600 quid or so that I spent on the upgrade. However, this little fellah is pretty nippy and has no trouble running the likes of Office. I would of course be the first to concede that that would be a fairly painfull experience without my compact little blue-tooth keyboard! Personally I have no interest in trying to persuade others who have a different user-case which excludes this type of device, all I can really say is that I like it and am finding very usefull. Each to their own and all that.

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Re: Learning curves and walled gardens

>>"and don't need/want to make yet another effort to learn something else"

I just don't see the "effort". If I'm going to be using a device frequently, it's worth an hour of learning how to get the most out of it. What honestly is difficult anyway? Press the windows button and you're on the Start Screen, swipe from the left and you cycle through the running programs, swipe from the right and you get settings and options. Drag down from the top to close something or move it to the side. In some apps, you can get extra controls by swiping up.

That's four sides of a screen and a button. Who couldn't learn that in ten minutes? In return for which I get a bunch of things that are advantages to me.

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Re: Why would anyone want Windows (especially 8) on a tablet? @Andy Prough

>Maybe to run your productivity programs if you work in an office

Tried using MS Office on an 8" tablet? from your comment, I guess not.

Also, the desktop UI's for SAP and other CRM/ERP/Financial systems that work well on a large screen are useless on a tablet...

Or perhaps what is missing is the special head mounted frame into which we can slot the tablet and so have it 6~8 inches from the eyes - making it equivalent to a desk mounted 20~23 inch screen that is normally viewed from a few feet ...

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I bought an 8 inch windows 8 tablet, and had to reject it, reject as in the contract law term of art, because it wasn't fit for purpose. the icons were teeeeny, and i couldn't get the onscreen keyboard to reliably come up, plus there is no swype type keyboard on windows 8. frequently, the keyboard would obscure the field i was typing into, something which manipulating the webpage behind would not alleviate, as it would snap back behind the keyboard as soon as i began to type again. as for intel atom processors, for the birds...

crap. so i wonder if 8 inch windows 8 is just shite as a concept.

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Oh really

Since I've had all those problems with android and apple tablets apart from the tiny icons might I suggest you are exaggerating slightly. I would never suggest you might have blinkers - no siree......

And don't get me started on the horror show that is mobile Firefox for Android.

Point is all early versions of products have bugs - what did you expect when you bought Windows Tab v1.x?

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Re: Oh really

>Point is all early versions of products have bugs

The trouble is that MS have been in the Windows tablet game for over a decade now...remember there was tablet version of XP and if memory serves me correctly attempts were made to touch enable earlier versions of Windows.

To me what is even worse, is that the iPad has been around since April 2010 and here we are in 2014 MS and friends are releasing product (ie. the Win8 tablet) that is so obviously inferior to the iPad 1 & 2 and many Android tablets.

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Re: Oh really

"apart from the tiny icons", eh? Honestly if I want to look at a Windows 7/XP style desktop and start menu through the wrong end of a telescope I can do that from my home.

Then trying to actually pick out the correct liliputian menu option requires another further Superman-style feat.

This isn't a bug, it's something completely misconceived.

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Anonymous Coward

Translated from Corporatese to English:

Satya has just sent us a f*ck off backhander in a brown envelope, with a covering letter. Although the letter ran to 46 pages when one sheet of A4 would have been sufficient to convey the point, he essentially said - Hi there. This large bung is, firstly, an apology for all the the millions of dollars of unsold inventory of windows tablets I knows its been a disaster, but this money is also an "incentive" to continue being one of the few producers of Windows 8 tablets, and certainly one of the very few in 8 inches, so that the whole venture doesn't become yet another monumental embarrassment for Microsoft.

P.s If this isnt enough for us to be friends again, emal me with how many more envelopes you'll need

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Anonymous Coward

Phabulous

when you've got companies as stubborn as Apple on the verge of releasing a 5.5 inch screen phablet you've got to wonder if the demand for 8 inch tablets will hold. I considered getting an iPad mini or an iPad, but instead I've just decided to get a phablet when I trade in my Galaxy S4 and that'll do me instead of having a small tablet like an iPad mini.

I can't imagine these will be big sellers. Microsoft have really shot themselves in the foot they've got an OS primed for tablets that nobody is selling in any great number, which sucks on laptops and desktops

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Holmes

Summary

So .. Lenovo has sold out of one line, is planning to restock with an upgrade. They've stopped selling some things that didn't sell well and diverted them to somewhere they do sell. And they're still selling some things that sell well.

In other news, some paint dried in Salford.

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Probably not so much the form factor

I think 8" would work better if the device came with a stylus and a keyboard attachment so the desktop could be used on the go. It wouldn't hurt either to throw in more storage and better CPU performance.

As it is these devices are destined to run in metro for the most part and that's where the problem is. Metro is quite a mature and usable touch GUI and the apps it ships with are very usable these days. However, the app store is a joke - the situation with 3rd party apps has improved but it doesn't bear favourable comparison to Android or the iPad. If I had money in my pocket to buy a 8" tablet, I'd probably drop it on a Galaxy Tab.

It's probably why Microsoft and vendors are looking to larger sizes where Android and iPad begin to look distinctly clunky and where a Windows tablet / hybrid makes more sense.

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Re: Probably not so much the form factor

I have never understood this apps criticism. I have a Surface 2 (and had a Surface RT before that) and in all my time with Windows RT, I've installed probably half a dozen apps on those devices (an SSH client, a code editor being the main things). It does nearly everything I need already - it comes with Office, email clients, full featured web browser.

Apps evolved because mobile devices didn't have screen real-estate or properly functional browsers. Windows RT has that. Unless you have a burning need to play the latest games (I'm not a gamer) then I genuinely don't see any serious lack.

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Re: " have never understood this apps criticism."

Analogy :- "You cooked a meal, but it never turned out how you or your dinner guests wanted. However this microwave substitute goo is just fine because both you and your guests actually don't know or care what is actually required as long as you can slurp it down with a spoon - until you come to the porcelain throne of your expectations"

(Fairly sure there are loads of mixed metaphors in there - bit like Windows 8.x).

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Re: " have never understood this apps criticism."

>>Analogy :- "You cooked a meal, but it never turned out how you or your dinner guests wanted. However this microwave substitute goo is just fine because both you and your guests actually don't know or care what is actually required as long as you can slurp it down with a spoon - until you come to the porcelain throne of your expectations"

That analogy should be taken outside and shot, to put it out of its misery and ours.

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Anonymous Coward

I'm very tempted by a small windows PRO tablet at the moment.

I have a android tablet, and an iPad. I never used the iPad so eventually the wife claimed ownership of it. I often try to use the android tablet, but find some of the limitations frustrating. So still I find myself using my laptop more than anything else.

I've owned several toshiba libretto notebook devices in the past and found there size and functionality ideal for me at the time so have no issue with windows on a very small screen.

My issue with android/iPad is that I still cant do everything on them. Several things I use regularly use full Java - so android and iOS just aren't an option.

So I'm tempted by a Win 8 PRO 8 inch tablet. Its got to be proper intel windows though.

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