The Kindle Fire is set to claim the position of the tablet that can go head-to-head with Apple’s iPad. But Microsoft also claims that its tablets, based on Windows 8, are worthy competitors of the iPad. So putting two and two together, it appears that the real competition for the Kindle Fire is Microsoft. Basically, this is just a competition for the number two spot.
But it’s still not as easy as it sounds. In order to convince developers to develop applications, games and software for their tablets, these makers need to at least secure the spot of the next best thing to the iPad. There is no reason for app makers to spend time and resources developing applications for tablets that won’t even get sold to customers.
Earlier this month, Microsoft bid to developers, claiming tablets based on Windows 8 is what people would want. Since Windows 8 will not only run tablets but also PCs as well, programs requiring keyboard and mouse input will also be available. This allows for a lot of room for creativity for the willing app developer. Of course, Microsoft first needs to convince developers to make apps that can take advantage of the touch-friendly Metro interface sported by Windows 8.
There is no doubt that millions of PCs would run on Windows 8. The question is how many would take advantage of computing based on touch technology. The only way developers of touch-based apps will believe this would work if Microsoft’s hardware makers can produce compelling designs. They need assurance that among those millions of computers, an appreciable number is composed of tablet PCs and not desktop PCs.
The problem with tablets having Windows is the limitation set by the frequency of OS updates. While it takes years for updates with a Windows OS, iPad users experience an update annually. The tablet world may be something more than a Windows OS can chew. And since the Kindle Fire ships this November, people may find themselves opting for Amazon’s pretty tablet.
Compared to Microsoft, Amazon releases updates quickly. The price tag of $199 is also very difficult to ignore, especially with consumers who just want a great working product that is not from Apple.
While Microsoft won a lot of praise with its Windows 8 preview, there are still no tablets running Windows 8 around for consumers to buy and enjoy. Set to released towards the end of next year, this would have given the Kindle Fire plenty of time to settle on the position as a viable alternative to the iPad. By that time also, And the iPad 3 would likely have converted new followers to its roster of avid users.
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