FutureFive NZ - Has Microsoft missed the tablet boat?

Warning: This story was published more than a year ago.

Has Microsoft missed the tablet boat?

Just two weeks after Nokia hinted it would look to collaborate with Microsoft on a tablet running Windows 8, IT industry researchers Forrester have issued a report suggesting the tech giant has already missed the boat.

In a post on the Forrester blog, researcher JP Gownder says Windows 8 is going to be ‘very late to the party’ when it finally arrives on tablets next year.

"Product strategists often look to be ‘fast followers’ in their product markets,” Gownder says, citing Internet Explorer’s demolition of Netscape in the mid-90s.

"For tablets, though, Windows isn’t really 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.

"While Windows’ product strategists can learn from these products, other players have come a long way in executing and refining their products – Apple, Samsung and others have already launched second-generation products and will likely be into their third generation by the time Windows 8 launches.”

While Windows 8 is being seen as Windows for tablets, Microsoft still hasn’t specified a release date, and analysts predict it won't arrive until the second half of 2012. Even with the company’s phenomenal brand recognition, it’s hard to see a Windows 8 device making an impact against such well-established competitors.

If anyone can do it, though, Microsoft can.

Do you think Microsoft has missed the tablet boat? Post your comments below.

Image: Microsoft's Steve Sinofsky presents a prototype Windows 8 tablet at Microsoft's Build conference in September. Source here.

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