Digitimes reports that M$ is lining up tablets for late in 2011 with “its new OS”. This is classic vapourware for “8” or M$ will rush out something with touch and “bigger icons”, actually more like “7.9”.
I have two observations:
- “bigger icons” means fewer features on the screen at once, less bloat perhaps, and
- even if M$ pulls off a new release of tht other OS in 2011, Android and ARM will be all over the place and in the longer term M$ will have lost a huge chunk of share.
Some will suggest the whole market will rush to embrace M$ on the tablet but, while there will be consumers who stick with M$, many hundreds of millions of consumers will see that they can live without M$. “Google” and “Android” will have mind-share. M$ will also be competing against Chrome OS which is imminent. The monopoly will be shaken if not destroyed.
“First-tier notebook vendors including Acer, Asustek Computer, Sony and Samsung Electronics are all set to launch Chrome OS-based notebooks featuring Intel or Nvidia processors, 10- to 12-inch screens and Chrome OS or dual-OS support, with mass shipments to start in the second half of 2011. Machines may be showcased at Computex Taipei 2011, according to sources from notebook makers.” see Vendors to mass ship Chrome OS notebooks in 2H11
2011 is the year that M$ and the market (OEMs, retailers, wholesellers, and consumers) definitely understand that many people don’t love M$ and like choice. Those who offer choice will do well. M$ will offer one choice of many. HP, for instance, will offer that other OS, that other OS+WebOS, and WebOS by itself. That makes a lot of retail space no longer dedicated to preserving the monopoly. Other OEMs will provide a similar mix with Android and GNU/Linux.
There will be immediate consequences of M$’s weakened monopoly:
- M$ will no longer be able to dictate to the market and will have to be standards-compliant or lose even more share,
- prices for software licences and hardware will continue to fall, and
- people will see side-by-side comparable devices with a variety of OS and actually have a choice in retail stores.