At this moment, Apple’s iPad is without question the tablet that is defining the category and vastly outselling any competition. But it is too soon to write off competition from Android tablets. And Microsoft just yesterday officially unveiled its new Windows 8 operating system at a build developers conference. They gave away Samsung windows 8 tablets to everyone at the conference. Windows 8 is not ready for consumption yet – it will be some time in 2012 before it is ready for use. If you are keen to try it now, you can download the developer preview edition from the Windows Dev Center.
Initial reaction from the tech press has been positive. Windows 8 will replace Windows 7 for PC’s, and for that use includes a desktop similar to Windows 7. It also includes a touch-screen desktop similar to Windows phone, Apple and Android for use on tablets, or any computer with a touch screen.
This is a good move for Microsoft, as it allows them to be in both the PC market – which is shrinking because of tablets and smartphones – and in the tablet world as well. If it can end up with a competitive experience and usability, it will be especially compelling to the corporate world where IT managers will like the compatibility with existing infrastructure and software.