Here’s a bit of success in Microsoft’s consumer endeavors. After unsuccessfully pushing Windows onto the tablet form-factor with Windows 8 and 8.1; Microsoft finally managed to innovate and find a good balance between the power of a desktop and the usability of a tablet.
Microsoft’s efforts are now paying off, as is evident at the Mobile World Congress show floor in Barcelona this week.
Steve Jobs unveiled the iPad as a gateway device to the post-PC era. The post-PC era wasn’t expected to be a fallacy but turns out that it is – the PC merely had to adapt to the changing consumer needs.
That’s perhaps the beauty of a personal computer; the term is so vague that it can fit any personal device. There is no post-PC era, because every device is, in the end, a PC.
That is, unless, Steve Jobs was referring to Windows. Microsoft’s success, in that case, would have probably been an utter surprise for him.
Over the years since the iPad’s inceptions, tablets saw an explosive growth, followed by a sharp decline. The iPad and the subsequent Android tablets that followed it turned out to become just a bump on the road. The form-factor, however, evolved.
At MWC this year, everyone – Lenovo, Samsung, HP, Panasonic, Alcatel, to name a few – is releasing more Windows 10-powered 2-in-1 devices than Android-wielding tablets. Android’s stagnant app growth on tablets is perhaps the main reason behind this.
Whatever the reason may be for Android’s struggles in the tablet market, Windows 10 is winning against it and therefore changing the idea of what is possible with a tablet.
While the iOS-powered iPad and the hundreds of Android-powered tablets rely on the same underpowered applications that run on our smartphones; Windows 10 offers the complete experience of a laptop but in the size and form of a tablet.
It’s possible to run the full-blown Office suite on these Windows-10 powered 2-in-1s. To make sure that you can fully utilize it, they also come with a keyboard that turns these tablets into laptops.
Windows 10, being a complete OS, then offers a complete experience, unlike Android or iOS.
Lenovo’s CEO, Yuan Yuanqing, at the company’s earnings call earlier this month, mentioned that Lenovo’s tablet shipments are growing fast. Lenovo is one of the very few companies who is witnessing a growth in tablets.
Lenovo introduced its new Tab 4 Android tablets this week at MWC, but the company – as well as consumers – were more focused on the Windows 10-powered 2-in-1 Miix 320 and the Yoga 720 & 520.
Meanwhile, Samsung announced three new tablets at MWC this week, two of them are powered by Windows 10.
“Samsung assumes that 60 percent of the detachable 2-in-1 market have Windows, and there’s an opportunity for 140 percent year-over-year growth,” says Eric McCarty, Vice President of Mobile Product Marketing for Samsung Electronics America.
In other words, Samsung assumes that the majority of 2-in-1 devices are running Windows rather than Android, and the South Korean giant expects this market to grow rapidly over the next few years.
Microsoft has something good going for itself. That’s admittedly rarer than one would hope for; however, Microsoft must continue to update Windows 10 and fix the many issues that plague these 2-in-1 devices.
Several parts of Windows 10 remain unfriendly to the touch. The Windows 7-era File Explorer, for example, is completely inaccessible. We know that Microsoft is working on fixing some of these issues, but hopefully, the rate of progress will only get faster from here on out.