The results of Greece’s elections are important, but today I want to talk about a very interesting development here in the U.S. My fellow techies know what I’m talking about.
For once, I’m not talking about Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), even though the gadget guru did grab headlines as the company kicked off its annual developers’ conference last week.
No, today Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) has the spotlight as Bill Gates’ brainchild made a huge, potentially game-changing announcement that they are offering their own “tablet” product, named Surface, to compete directly with the Apple iPad product lineup.
This is big news because the tablet market is becoming a bigger cash cow every day. Currently, industry experts expect tablet shipments to reach 222 million by 2016! And with the new iPad starting at $499, the Samsung Galaxy at $249 and Amazon’s Kindle Fire at $199, there is a lot of money to be made from tablets. Currently, no one can come close to Apple’s dominance on the tablet market; the most recent estimates put Apple at 62.5% market share in 2012 and Android-based tablets like the Galaxy at 36.5%.
But Microsoft could finally give Apple it’s first real competitor in this market. For one, the tablet will run on Microsoft’s Windows 8 Operating System, the next version of the most popular OS for desktop and laptop users. In fact, Windows 8 is the world’s first operating system that was designed with touch screens in mind.
If you’ve ever tried to use word processing software on an Apple device you know how difficult it can be to find the right app, data sharing software and tools to make your device work like a mini PC. I’m an Apple guy through and through, but when your work life is entrenched in Word, Excel and Powerpoint, an iPad or iPhone isn’t as convenient as you might think. .
I suppose Apple could take away this Microsoft edge if the company would finally nail down the integration of Microsoft Office or Outlook.
Of course, considering the near cult status of the iPad, it will likely take more than a few bells and whistles to dethrone this tablet king anytime soon.
I am very interested in seeing how this all plays out. Microsoft is the one company out there right now that could actually give Apple a run for their money.