Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Will Microsoft be the next Numero Uno in Tablet PC market?

Microsoft is looking forward to increase its share in the tablet PC market like it did in netbooks as consumers demand a software that accommodates in the existing ecosystem, a senior executive said on Tuesday, despite the early dominance of Apple iPad in the market and news of strong Android competitors in the offing.

When Taiwan's Asustek first launched netbook PCs in 2007, they all ran on the lower-cost, open source Linux system, but Microsoft eventually took over this sector with more than 90 percent of all netbooks now powered by windows.

"Having watched this movie play before, there's some consistency in the themes," corporate vice-president for original equipment manufacturing Steve Guggenheimer told Reuters in an interview.

"You get a lot of noise, you get a lot of energy around the alternatives, but then when people start selling these machines, and it can't quite do what the consumers want, your printer doesn't work, retailers get returns, then that's when it's hard."

According to Gartner, a research firm, more than 10 million tablet PCs are expected to be sold in 2010, with users begining welcoming such gadgets with open arms, which include Apple iPad, Dell's coming soon Streak and Asustek's Eee Pad, which it introduced this week.

Microsoft also stated that it can see the sign of growth in corporate demand, with 45% of the chief IT officers it talked to are ready to getting ready to deploy its just out windows 7 system.

"We're starting to see that commercial refresh," Guggenheimer said. "There's really good energy on the commercial side, but it hasn't caught up with the level of the consumer yet."

All top computer brands are largely dependent on the demand by corporate sector, like Lenovo and Dell have said they are seeing signs of increasing corporate demand, as businesses still using decade old Windows XP upgrade their system.

As far as the Google's prospects with smart phone market are concerned, Guggenheimer remained skeptical, largely because Google's android system does not have a common platform that could intersect different mobile brands and manufacturers.

"When you write an app for Windows, it can immediately reach hundreds of millions of users," he said. "The challenge for Android is that (software developers) will need to have multiple versions for each individual phone."

Android is Google open-source OS for smartphones. Handset manufacturers like HTC and Samsung can do a little bit tweaking in to software to meet their own requirements.

Taking fourth place from Microsoft in the smartphone OS market in the first quarter of 2010, the Android system has put the company in good position as handsets look geared up to overtake PCs for internet surfing.

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