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Will Windows 8 shake Apple to the core?
With the release date for Windows 8 set at October this year, it can safely be said that the "business iPad" has been created by Microsoft - in the widest sense of the word.
When Microsoft announced that it would be making its own hardware - Surface - you knew they meant business. However, whilst there is a clear market for a Microsoft tablet, there will be challenges along the way.
Will Microsoft purely target the business market, or is Microsoft trying to make the iPad killer; a tablet for all people; a tablet that can spread into more markets than the iPad.
RIM on the edge
One reason Microsoft is in a better position than ever to launch a serious competitor to the iPad is the decline of BlackBerry products.
Whilst RIM traditionally offered businesses communication tools targeted towards their needs, in today's app-orientated market, it seems RIM cannot compete.
With Windows Phone 7, Microsoft has demonstrated that app developers are committed to the platform, and with the huge number of business applications that can now be used along with the ever more necessary apps, Windows is very appealing to all sorts of businesses that are cash-strapped, and can't afford to have specialist applications recreated for tablets.
Microsoft can easily seize the business market with Windows 8, if they play their cards right.
The average consumer
The acid test for Windows 8, however, is how it goes down with the average consumer.
Will Windows 8 claim some market share from the iPad? Definitely. Will it be a good competitor? It's likely. Will it overtake the iPad? Possibly. But will it kill it off? That's impossible.
What Microsoft needs to do is entice game publishers that develop for the PC to develop with Windows 8 tablets in mind, If Microsoft can attract the right backers to its new tablet, it can attract the right customers that will differentiate the Windows 8 tablets from the iPad, and will give Windows 8 the gaming reputation its forebears held.
Of course, the introduction of Microsoft into the tablet market reflects the triad of Operating Systems in the PC market - Android, which is based on Linux, iOS, being the Mac, and Windows. Symbolically, this means that tablets will soon become more popular than the plain, old PC.
Will you be buying a Windows 8 tablet as your next device?
What do you think? Do you think Windows 8 tablets will be a flash in the pan? Or will Windows 8 be the iPad killer? Leave your comments below!