Office to propel Windows tablets past Android in 2015
I believe this is will come to pass. Also, pink & fuzzy nose goblins will rain gum drops from the heavens while riding their rainbow chariots, sometime in August of that year.
Taiwan-based analyst TrendForce says Windows-based tablets will overtake Android's market share by 2015, thanks to the presence of Microsoft Office on the devices. The prediction can be found in a report titled 2010-2015 Market Shares of Tablet PC Operating Systems by analyst Eric Chiou from TrendForce. The prediction has been …
"This is of course supposing that Android and iOS stand still and do not develop tablets any further."
And similarly it is assuming that the "product called Office" that Microsoft eventually ship for WinRT *is* actually more like "real Office" than the various compatible products. Since you presumably only want to "consume" (gag, retch...) Office "content" (puke, splutter) rather than "author" (vom, barf...) it, I imagine that almost any recent port of OpenOffice meets the requirements and I note that MS aren't promising to deliver *any* offering of their own this year.
So, erm, yeah, 2015 is the earliest conceivable date by which MS might actually start to get traction. Good luck with that "competition stands still" theory, Mr Ballmer. Perhaps it is related to your "land-grab" theory that presumes there *isn't* any competition.
Whats weird, is this "expert" from a company nobody has heard of, and can't possibly be on Microsoft's payroll, fails to take into account two crucial factors.
1/ There are already many very decent full Office apps on Android, that work on both phones and tablets, that read/write Office native formats, and can sync docs with the cloud. "OfficeSuite Pro 6" is my favorite, it's less than a tenner, and appears frequently in promotions (I picked up my copy for £2.20)... There are plenty of others too.
2/ Google recently acquired QuickOffice developer that makes Quickoffice Android suite. You can bet money the moment Microsoft try to sell their overpriced office suite for their failed WindowsRT/Windows Mobile platform, Google will offer this puppy up for free....
You forgot one thing though--Android tablets sales are flat as a pancake. Windows tablets surpassing Android tablets would be a complete non-event.
"Schmidt publicly admitted that Google was “late to tablets.” He also revealed that only 70,000 of the 1.3 million Android activations each day are for tablets." i.e only 5% of Android activations are tablets.
Remember the only successful "Android" tablets have forked Google out of their own ecosystem--Kindle and Nook, they don't count as Android activations.
While you can doubt this will happen by personal users, business is another market entirely and the prediction is highly likely in the business market. They need compatibility with existing systems. Such businesses won't have invested in Android tablets as they're not business focussed.
Tablet technology is mature now plus both Office and Windows have proper touch screen interfaces.
"That on Maemo you could obviously run any "office software" you want...." Actually, what the question should be about is what do users actually want to do on their tablets? Full Office compatibility was supposed to make Win Mobile (using Pocket Office) a "sure thing" back in the day, but it didn't happen mainly because users were more interested in the secure push email capabilities of Blackberry than the ability to edit Office docs on a tiny phone screen. Blackberry had that ability anyway, and it didn't stop the Office-less iPhone becoming the top consumer device (although BBs still rule as business phones).
It seems to me that tablets, like smartphones, are still primarily media consumption devices rather than devices used for producing media or documents. I don't think having Office will help that much in the comsumer space, and business users are more likely to want a full-powered laptop with a KEYBOARD as the old keyboard is still the best input device for the majority of users. There has been the ability to dictate to Windows PCs or use handwriting recognition software for stylus-driven input (remember the Apple Newton?) for years, but today 99.99999% of business docs and media still get created on desktops or laptops with a keyboard and mouse. Companies like hp tried tablets with detachable keyboards (the TC1100 was brilliant) with full Office, and consumers went gaga for netbooks, but businesses carried on buying full-size laptops and desktops.
So, no, I don't think Office will help tablets penetrate the business segment. Lighter notebooks with Atom CPUs and keyboards that can detach or swivel around to let the user use the screen as a touchscreen may do better with full Office, but not enough to push sales past consumer Android tablet numbers.
Excel macros? VBA? Access databases?
These are in common use for simple analysis and data storage in offices.
People want their documents to look the same on every office package. Some of these documents have to be produced for customer projects, they can't send off a document produced in something other than Word to a customer using Word and have it looking like crap. They would raise a lot of problems or comments against it, costing time and money.
Agree completely. In the corporate world Microsoft still have so much lock in, and will do until open document formats are more widely used. Let's face it, the average sales tw@t is unlikely to use VBA, and hopefully that will drop off the face of the planet soon where it belongs - but they will want word docs and powerpoints. Other products are fine for CONSUMING word/excel/whatever but can't be trusted yet to PRODUCE them. Even as a completely platform agnostic user, I wouldn't dream of making changes to something like my CV in a product such as open office and sending it anywhere without having first reviewed it in Microsoft Office on a Windows machine. Sad, stupid, shouldn't be this way but that's how things stand I'm afraid - you can't rely on "office emulators" to produce you a document that you'd trust to appear correctly formatted when opened in MS Office.
> my CV ... and sending it anywhere
I never understood the desire to send .docs somewhere where they will merely read it. Is it so that they can change the contents ? Or perhaps so that they can read what the amendments removed ? Or the comments that have been made by others.
Output a PDF and send that, then you are guaranteed that there is no hidden stuff and the visuals will not change.
It's normally the recruitment people that insist on Word format - otherwise I'd cheerfully send as PDF. I've tried it before and they've made me re-send it as a .Doc.
It's the world of lock in and stupid corporates with arcane, proprietary systems. Common sense means nothing here.
Things like the Asus Transformer Prime can replace a netbook/laptop. Modern tablets have a high resolution screen (like an ultrabook), the battery life of a Netbook (15 hours in the Primes case), exchange/IMAP/POP3 support through applications you can support every available file format and turns on instantly (well from standby).
The only thing missing is a well developed office suite (Polaris Office and Quick Office are ok), sure you can't install visual studio or Matlab on them. But in all other respects I would have killed for something like that during university (instead I made do with an XDA Mini S & a bluetooth keyboard).
I'm hoping Libre Office and Eclipse can be ported to Android, it would be the final push for me to get a Transformer.
It belongs to Microsoft. Yeah Office is what everyone has been waiting for, the tablet is obviously ideal for all that text and numeric entry.
I'm off right now to patent little home key bumps on the LCD over the virtual keyboard, I'll make a fortune from all the office workers needing displays with MY invention.
Microsoft's Surface tablets, at least, includes keyboards....at least partially overcoming the concerns about using a touch screen for office work. I have a BlueTooth keyboard for my iPad, and have found it a passable solution for things like light word processing. Obviously, if I'm doing anything at all complex, I'm doing it on a real computer, but having a small keyboard on a tablet does make it at least marginally useful for office apps.
Why the hell would anyone find using Office appealing on a touch screen? There are already a zillion apps for writing notes, memos, short novellas or whatever.
But how the hell am I going to write VBA Excel scripts? How am I going to click the correct cell with my big fingers? Writing mildly complex sums and math functions, calculating totals and subtotals etc, would be migraine inducing.
Just buy a netbook people! My two year old Atom Windows 7 netbook seems far more useful than an iPad or Surface. And I can even install Eclipse or Visual Studio on it and then the skies the limit.
I'm still waiting for the day that I can actually do real work on a tablet. On that day I will buy a tablet, be it iPad, Surface or an Android device. I'm tired of Angry Birds, I'm tired of Photo decorating apps, I just want to do some work.
Well, I love my Samsung netbook too, but remember that many of the Windows tablets, including the Surface, will have keyboards, and are really hybrids (indeed, the whole debate of "PC vs tablet" will be a bit moot, and all these predictions about market share are meaningless without clearly defined categories).
I've been disappointed at the way that netbooks seem to have stagnated, so I'm hopeful that things will improve - even though I'm not so fussed about a pure tablet (I already have a smartphone for that), I think a hybrid device will be great as an upgrade from my current netbook - still having a keyboard, but even more portable, and with the next generation of Atom (which will have the GPU integrated onto the CPU). The advantages that are being made for tablets (such as improving battery life, or still being able to poll the network whilst asleep) will be beneficial for those of us who like keyboards too. A touchscreen is a useful addition, to complement the keyboard and touchpad. And maybe we'll also at last see netbooks with more than 1GB RAM and 1024x600 :) (As well as perhaps a return to using fast SSDs.)
The tablet sector is moving so fast, there's no knowing what will happen by 2015!
Already, there's plenty of small businesses, especially digital companies, that get along just fine without microsoft office. A combination of Libre Office and Google Docs is more than sufficient.
The latter is the key component for Android - and for any other device - and by the time we get around to 2015, you can be certain Google & Apple will not have been sitting still.
I feel certain that large companies will also make the move away from microsoft office.
Already, many of them have shifted their email systems to Google and more will follow suit.
Android will diversify even further. You'll be seeing more and more tablets specifically designed for the sector they operate within, whether that be a Nurse doing ward rounds or an Engineer on site. Both require a niche, custom tablet device and this is exactly where Android fits so well.
Apple will continue to dominate the consumer entertainment market.
Microsoft will continue to dominate the desktop market but I highly doubt they'll overtake Android any time soon in the mobile space!
Just need to reword my assumption I feel certain that large companies will also make the move away from microsoft office" ...
Add a 'some' or 'many' into that statement. Clearly microsoft office is a powerhouse that's unmatched when you use it's full feature set. Couple that with the fact that it's been a standard for decades and, sure, it's going to continue to be the biggest player in it's market.
Many companies use a tiny fraction of the functionality that office offers and it could *easily* be replaced by Google Docs or a similar service.
What of Microsofts answer to Google Docs. Well, that's an interesting one. Back in 2007, there were announcements made about 'Office Live' - in 2011, it was 'Office 365'
So, 'Office 365' is up and running - as a paid for service.
It's taken Microsoft 5 years to get to this point - a glacial speed. In the interim, Google Docs has gone from strength to strength and has made inroads into businesses in a significant way.
Hmm, lets see, on a tablet device - casual viewing and reviews of documents - paid for service or free service? - bit of a no-brainer really.
It might have taken Microsoft 5 years - but they have a much better product than Google Docs - and it offers seemless transition to and from other cloud hosted Office SaaS providers or to and from on premises deployments with a single management console.
Google is the poor man's option. Not that it actually costs any less when you look at the full TCO.
The office hook might work for some, in the sense of a largish format tablet that can be used with an external keyboard at a desk for the data input and then for taking to meeting and minor touchups.
Or it might be that people think ooh, Office! without going into the werewithall of how they are actually going to use it.
MS Office on tablets is interesting to companies as it (when coupled with cloud storage) will allow light work (reviewing documents, minor updates, planning) when "on the go". The way it'll work is, keep your docs on the cloud, work on a "proper" PC at work (MS lockin) then continue working on your way to meetings or way home.
Quite compelling for big corps, I'm sure.
I can't see tablets replacing the need for real PC's anytime soon.
If this really was biased towards MS, one would wonder why they would be keen to paint Apple in such a positive light, and suggest that MS is only capable of taking market share from Android. If I was going to make up a pro-MS prediction, surely you'd show (a) a further decline for Apple, and (b) with MS taking share from both platforms.
Yes because the only reason stopping all those people buying iPads is the lack of MS office software?
Tablets are good for entertainment and education but not much cop for office use, and with Windows RT having a crippled office version without outlook and the inability to connect to a domain they are not going to be any use for business anyway.
Quote "Well I havnt bought a tablet becuase im waiting for one with Office on, and i'm sure there are plenty like me..."
Going by your posts here I am glad there aren't.
While the 86 tablet might have a show I just can't see the RT one going anywhere.
I still can't see MS doing so well by 2015 as they are too late to the game and people no longer feel that MS is the only show in town.
"You really think everyone will stop using Windows and move to OSX or Linux?"
You really think that all companies will scrap their desktops, keyboards and mice and kit everyone out with tablets? There are too many variables in the argument and anyone that takes this report seriously needs to top up their salt reserves, whether this company is acting as a M$ shill or not. The only way we will know for certain is to wait three years and look.
This report is probably one of many that we shall see before then and each one will have its own agenda.
"You really think that all companies will scrap their desktops, keyboards and mice and kit everyone out with tablets?"
Presumably the idea is to replace laptops. And since many if not most the x86 tablets are actually laptop hybrids with touchscreens, this argument seems to work in their favour - and work against Apple, who *do* want people to scrap their desktops, keyboards and mice (unless it's an Apple PC. For some reason their own argument doesn't apply to them).
And as I say above, I hardly think this is a pro-MS piece, even if it isn't favourable to Android. If anything, it's a pro-Apple piece - "Look how we'll be untouched by Windows and maintain our lead, the decline we've had isn't going to continue at all, honest! Only Android is going to suffer!"
> "You really think that all companies will scrap their desktops, keyboards and mice and kit everyone out with tablets?"
Microsoft seem to have an aim that everyone will have _all_ devices: Windows desktop, Windows tablet, Windows phone, Windows TV, Windows car, Windows alarm clock; and have them all interacting through Live or whatever other services they can charge for.
The last thing they want is to replace the desktop with tablet. They want licence fees from both and much else besides.
> Presumably the idea is to replace laptops.
The problem that I see is that most, if not all, Windows software relies on mouse and keyboard: keyboard shortcuts, mouse-overs, fine pixel level interactions. Surface has keyboard and touchpad for exactly that reason. Surface is just a small laptop with a floppy connection so that it won't work on a lap.
Or that iPads (and Macs) have iWorks?
If (and it's a big if) office productivity software becomes a battle ground on tablets then both Apple and Google are well placed to compete with Microsoft - they simply need to publicise the availability of their respective Office-software more than they do now.
The fact Apple and Google publicise such tablet software hardly at all right now suggests that few buyers see it as an important purchasing consideration, and this analyst is either delusional or in the pay of a certain software company that operates out of Seattle. Or both.
The issue is presumably more compatibility, and what businesses are used to. Otherwise they'd already all be using free Google docs.
Also put your argument the other way. Android (and Windows come to that) is just as well placed to compete with IOS tablets. So by that logic, Android (and Windows 8 when it's out) should have just as much share, right? (I wish that was true.)
Indeed, a key part is: "they simply need to publicise the availability of their respective Office-software more than they do now."
Well that seems to be the problem sadly right now that Android has - a complete lack of advertising or awareness. There's no "simply" about this when it comes to marketing to billions of potential customers. Apple will do okay, as the mainstream media will as usual just cover their products for free, explaining how they can be used for office work, as if there was no alternative. Plus who do you mean by "they"? The companies currently making Android tablets are also the ones planning to make Windows tablets. And Google still seem hung up on advertising Chrome for business use...
I'm not defending Windows here - I'm just saying it's a sad state of affairs that results in the market place are to do with a lot more than simply the product itself. (I'm sure not everyone here thinks Windows is best on the desktop...)
"Microsoft, he feels, both gets the need for a good content ecosystem and has the muscle to summon it into existence, "
OOooo how are MS going to suddenly find millions of mp3's videos and ooks for that content ?
Oh and on the office side you can already view and edit office documents on both Android and iOS devices.
Add to that the purchase by Google earlier in the year of Quick Office which they could add to Android as a standard part like Maps etc and why would Office on a windows tablet be a unique selling point any more......
Once again an analyst prooves that the first four letters of analyst tell you all you need to know about them......
The whole thing about "ecosystem" is just odd anyway - I've seen this a few places, talking as if MS are struggling to build up an "ecosystem". Er, last time I looked, the wealth of software is an area where MS lead. It's why backwards compatibility is so important to them (of course this won't be an advantage they have for Windows RT, but Windows 8 x86 will be available too, including for tablets). It's just we didn't use buzzwords like "ecosystem", which as far as I can tell is marketing speak for "I'm going to claim this new platform has an advantage, but I can't explain what it is".
I wonder how many of the people claiming that there's no use for Offfice on a tablet have actually worked in an environment where you have to collaborate on long specifications or contract documents. Sure, there's a lot of typing used to produce the first draft of these, but thereafter, the bulk of the time is spent in reviewing, annotating and correcting the text.
It's a lot easier to read documents on a tablet (if only because you can turn the screen 90 degrees to better accommodate the page), but no current tablet can reliably modify MS Word documents, and like it or not (I don't), MS Word is the de-facto standard of document interchange in business. Add the lower cost and much lower weight (any laptop is too heavy after you've lugged it across bloody Heathrow), and it makes it a lot easier for certain groups of employees to be given tablets than laptops.
However, for this reason, I think the loser will be Windows 8 laptops, not Android, Kindle or Apple. (And are they counting Kindle Fires as "Android" in that marketshare?)
...after they have finished laughing they tell a lackey to throw a million dollars at the Libre Office folks to make LO shit-hot on Android "just in case".
This is anecdotal based on what I've been hearing from friends so take this with a pinch of salt, but I have heard Apple are already making inroads into mobile devices and relevant infrastructure for business (the one place Microsoft should have expected to find traction when they manage to bring a tablet to market.) The engine-room IT guys recommended Android after a trial, but the TLA decision-makers wanted Apple and are obviously prepared to throw the money at integrating iPads into the corporate network.
...that Windows tablets will steal Apple's share rather than androids.
I believe that Apple won over in the corporates because there wasn't a worthwhile Windows offering on tablets which would more readily integrate in to existing infastructure and office documents.
That has arguably now changed, so it will be an interesting field to watch in the coming years.
Consumers, where price sensitivity matters more, is a difficult thing to gague.
I still don't see the solutions for Bring Your Own Device as being mature enough yet. There are still issues with the solutions we've got under test.
My God. I hadn't noticed. It also makes it look, as a stacked chart would, that it shows the total volume of sales which it doesn't. They could be suggesting the total market drops to a tiny fraction of current sales and Microsoft maintain current volumes. Like if tablets turned out to be a flash in the pan for instance.
On that graph, Apple's share has been falling. When Nokia's market share fell for years, all we heard from the media was doom and gloom about how awful they were, and how wonderful 3rd or 4th place Apple were for increasing their share, conveniently not mentioning how Nokia were number one until 2011.
Yet here we have the same situation for Apple with tablets - do we get negative coverage for Apple, and positive for Android? No, all we get is constant reminders of Apple being number one! I predicted this would occur, but it's sad to see the double standard and bias.
"The reason, Chiou says, is that Android's various backers cannot match Apple's slick hardware or content offerings."
Well, I stopped reading there.
How come Android dominates on phones (which are tablets, just with the added phone functionality), now by a factor of 4 to 1 to Iphone, which has never been number one? Indeed, when you view all tablets (with and without phones) together, I assume Android still wins. Are they admitting that Iphones can't match the slick Android hardware and content offering?
And even if they are, why is the situation reversed between phones and tablets?
No, the reason Apple does better is simply because they get vast amount of hype and free advertising from the media, which they got even before the Ipad was announced (remember "Islate"?) The only tablets to come close to that hype has been the Kindle Fire (only released in some markets) and the Nexus 7 (only recently released), and even then, the hype pales into comparison. It seems like every other website and TV advert has an obligitory mention for "get this for your Ipad", "works on your computer, phone and Ipad" etc.
They've also got far better support in the shops - seems like every shop has Ipads, whilst until recently, it was hard to find anything but cheap no-name Android tablets in Maplin.
So most people simply aren't even aware that there are comparable tablets - in some cases, people seem to be aware of the cheaper 7" Android tablets, but not the higher end 10" tablets.
On phones, Apple don't have this advantage as much (I mean, they've had the same free media hype for years, but at least people are aware of the other platforms, and you can walk into a phone shop and buy more than just Apple). And surprise, Apple's performance there is appalling compared to the market leaders (Symbian, and now Android).
When it's actually a fair market, let's see how well platforms do. (And this is probably an area where Windows has a better chance, since it will get more coverage than Android tablets - I hope so, anyway.) Even as things are, it seems odd to claim that after falling since 2010, Apple's share will then hardly change at all, even with the entrance of Windows 8. This is even more bizarre if the market size grows - I mean, if hundreds of millions of people want Ipads, why don't they already have one?
Moral of the phone market place, don't become stagnant. Nokia became stagnant (and still is sadly), Apple came and ate their cake with a vastly superior phone UI/UX for consumers and the press made them darlings for it.
That's why people were digging into Nokia, because whilst they were number one their share of the phone market was falling off a cliff whilst they dithered around with shitty phones in comparison to the iPhone.
I would have thought stuffs like spreadsheets, databases, you know things containing potentially confidential data would do much better staying on a server somewhere and not being left on a mobile device.
Connection??? Hopefully by 2015 always online won't be an issue....
I vaguely remember some other analyst forecasted that Windows Phone OS will take the market by storm in 2012. Nice try, but take what these bribed shills say with a pinch of salt, and lots of skepticism.
The tablet is for media/info consumption, NOT productivity. Leveraging Office (most likely a watered down, cloud-riddled version than their desktop cousins) onto Windows tablets will not boost sales.
Steve Ballmer would have been sacked long ago if he weren't Bill Gates' friend.
Blinkered "thinking" like this is what killed Microsoft's "Courier" tablet. That oh-so-visionary Bill Gates said "It don't run office" and that's where it died. Of course Microsoft thinks that putting Office "everywhere" is going to magically save the abomination that is Windows 8...hell, with Drill Sargent Cutler running the X-box division I wouldn't be surprised to see them attempt to shoehorn Office into the X-box too. Because, you know, I often have the urge to open and edit Word documents in between rounds of Call of Duty--especially with a thumb controller.
Did anyone bother asking if tablet users really need a damn office suite? Nah...far easier to steam right on into that iceberg, right Barkto Ballmer?
Unless MS starts giving Office away for free, selling Office capable tablets to consumers will a daunting task. Until now MS charges $100-$150 for a full office set. If google manages to package an acceptably good Open-Office word processor in Android, these tablets will be at least 25% cheaper than W8 tablets with office.
The fact that Intel cpu's are way more expensive then comparable ARM-32 variants will not be helpful too.
Since MS only source of revenues are License fees, giving away things for free is not an option.
But maybe the magic of 90-ties reoccurs, they managed to blow established names like Wordperfect, Unix workstations, Lotus123, and Mosaic out of the water, and people will continue to pay $ 150,- Wintel tax for each computing device, regardless if it has a keyboard or not.
Prices for tablets are dropping - a cheapo 7" tablet is less than $100, and decent ones will be at that price in a year or two. A 7" windows8-RT tablet w/ MS office will be quite a bit more - 50% to 100% more, unless Microsoft decides to subsidize them by giving their OS + Office for free. That could happen if Microsoft believed that they could make it back from their app store.
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