Forrester: Microsoft’s Windows 8 will be very late to Apple iPad’s tablet party

“In a new report, Sarah Rotman Epps and I look at Windows 8 tablets, specifically, through our product strategy lens,” JP Gownder blogs for Forrester.

“What do we see? On tablets, Windows 8 is going to be very late to the party,” Gownder writes. “Product strategists often look to be ‘fast followers’ in their product markets… For tablets, though, Windows really isn’t a fast follower. Rather it’s (at best) a fifth-mover after iPad, Android tablets like the Samsung Galaxy Tab, HP’s now-defunct webOS tablet, and the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet.”

“These market dynamics are rapidly altering consumers’ attitudes and needs. Most significantly, consumers’ interest in Windows tablets is plummeting,” Gownder reports. “In Q1 2011, Windows was by far the top choice of consumers — while no touch-first Windows tablets existed, 46% of U.S. consumers yearned for one. By Q3 2011, that picture had changed dramatically: Windows was no longer No. 1 in choice preference, and interest among consumers dropped to 25%. Microsoft has missed the peak of consumer desire for a product they haven’t yet released.”

Gownder writes, “For product strategists, Windows 8 tablets provide a cautionary tale: To be a fast-follower, you must amp up the experience — and do so quickly, before the market changes beyond recognition. Windows 8 tablets must provide consumers with a more differentiated product experience than it otherwise would have, had Microsoft entered the market sooner. They’ll have to take a lesson from Amazon’s product strategists, who fundamentally changed the tablet product experience by leading with content and services rather than feeds and speeds, at a compelling price point. In the rapidly evolving tablet market, Amazon — and Barnes & Noble, with its Nook Tablet — demonstrate fast following done right.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Like Google’s Android, Microsoft’s Windows 8 looks like it violates Apple’s new ‘Slide to unlock’ patent – October 26, 2011
Windows 8 might turn off longtime users – September 30, 2011
3 reasons why Windows 8 may be dead on arrival – September 20, 2011
iOS 5 iPad 2 vs. Windows 8 preview tablet (with video) – September 16, 2011
Microsoft exec: Uh, no, Windows 8 tablets won’t run Windows PC apps – September 15, 2011
Corporate America to Microsoft: We’ll pass on Windows 8 – September 9, 2011
WSJ’s Mossberg reviews Mac OS X Lion: ‘The best computer operating system’ – July 21, 2011
Researchers: Apple’s Mac OS X Lion is the king of security – July 21, 2011
Microsoft developers horrified over Windows 8 preview – June 13, 2011
More good news for Apple: Microsoft previews Windows 8 (with video) – June 1, 2011


  1. “Windows was by far the top choice of consumers — while no touch-first Windows tablets existed, 46% of U.S. consumers yearned for one.”

    You gotta be kidding me. Show me just one.

    1. IMHO, although it just might be totally on point, _most_ people, when asked this question, think that ‘windows’ means ‘office’, and, yes, they would like ‘office’ on their tablets, because that’s just about all they actually know.

    2. Such figures were advertised probably by Forrester themselves some months ago which I believe at the time MDN suggested were delusionary at best. The fact that the figures have halved in such a short time suggests that such a conclusion was perhaps accurate with the question simply supplying the required answer requested by an interested party as MDN suggested

  2. I really don’t understand why, on the one hand, the critics have nothing but negatives in their reviews of the Kindle Fire, universally, and then you have some analyst here writing that Amazon and B&N have done the “fast-follower” thing correctly. All they did was release a POS that will sell to the cost-conscious who will later rue their collective parsimonious decisions.

    1. Being second (or later) to market means you have to compete on price, or enhancement Price with profit is out of the question because Apple controls the technology required to equal performance. Enhancement is also out of the question without a content ecosystem. Android and WinXX have been an abject failures in this regard.

      What the authors say is true. Amazon and BN are the only iPad competitors to offer a similar (not same) ecosystem/experience, leaving the issue of price as their distinction point. They will derive some limited success with their entries, but it will be more about protecting existing turf than any other business reason.

    2. I think Kindle Fire reviews have been negative, because they are written by people who are experts at consumer electronics. They have used iPad and other tablets extensively. In comparison, Kindle Fire looks bad.

      But, most of the people who would buy a Kindle Fire are not previous tablet users. They were not willing to spend $500 (or more) on a tablet, but $200 was worth the risk. They have no basis for comparison, and may therefore find Kindle FIre’s user experience to be acceptable.

      1. I would add that the overwhelming majority of Kindle & Nook buyers are buying those tablets to take part in the Amazon or B&N media consumption ecosystems. Maybe a little web browsing and e-mail if available.

        FWIW, my brother, a Linux geek, won a color Nook as a door prize. he liked it enough to buy another for his wife. I am looking forward to hearing the updates on his experience, and will share them as appropriate.

  3. Amazon and Barnes & Noble tablets are about nothing more that the smart thinking that they could compete by selling the tabs at a loss, but making it on the content they sold and on the backs of all of the failed tabs before them. Their success has nothing to do with technological innovation, but just common sense. $199.00 dollars worth of common sense.

  4. Are the analysts so young that they don’t remember MS coming out with tablets 10+ years ago? OK, they weren’t touch screens but MS isn’t following here, they are leading from the rear!

  5. The article = bla bla bla… M$ apologists trying hard to spin what can be said in one sentence.

    M$ is a pathetic mess with 0 innovation, simply still profiting from an illegally obtained monopoly position, after stealing the Mac OS.

  6. One possible problem Amazon might face is I don’t think people who are looking for bargain deals such as a $200 tablet are going to do much shopping on Amazon’s digital media store. These consumer types will most probably use torrents instead. I’d like to see how much money Amazon actually recoups from selling them so cheap.

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