With the numerous release if tablets these days, it is a no-brainer that the industry is responding to the increasing demand for smaller, touch-based devices in the market. But as the tablet becomes a must-have personal computing device, it is deemed that Windows 8 tablet won’t be a major factor until at least 2016.
According to market research firm IDC, slates running Microsoft’s operating system are expected to garner just 2.9 percent of the tablet market worldwide by the end of the year. But it will see an increase of up to 10.3 percent in 2016.
The research firm also released their overall tablet market forecast recently, predicting that worldwide shipments would hit 122.3 million units. By 2016, it is expected that shipments would reach 282.7 million units.
Struggle Between Tablet Manufacturers
For the next three year, it is expected that there would be continuous struggle between tablet manufacturers—Apple vs. Google in particular. In fact, the Cupertino-based company released an iPad Mini to compete against smaller tablets such as Google Nexus 7 and Amazon Kindle Fire. Moreover, there were speculations that the search engine giant will release a $99 Android Nexus tablet built by ASUS.
IDC also made a forecast that by the end of the year, Apple’s iPad lineup will account for 53.8 percent of the worldwide tablet shipments, followed by Android devices at 42.7 percent. Apple will remain at the top by 2016, garnering 49.7 percent of tablet shipments, while Android follows at 39.7 percent.
On the other hand, Windows tablets will become popular by that time. In turn, devices running Microsoft’s OS will see an increase from 2.9 percent in 2012 to 10.3 percent four years from now. By that time, Windows tablets will be running Windows 8 and Windows RT. Meanwhile, Windows 7 tablets should be rendered irrelevant since it only accounts to a slim niche among enterprises.
Windows Tablets: From 2016 and Beyond
Despite the favorable predictions, the future of Windows tablets is still questionable. Will Windows 8 and its future version continue to grow at a relatively fast rate? Or will its pace slacken after 2016?
Regardless, it is too early what lies ahead for Windows, and whether it will be a dominant software platform for the next generation of computers. But with iOS and Android having a head start, it would be tough for Microsoft to become a major player in the tablet market.