According to research firm IDC shipments of tablets will likely grow sixfold by 2014. The sleek PCs could reach seven million this year, and top 46 million by 2014. No doubt Apple, with its iPad, could lead this charge. But Apple should expect some competition.
Given how Apple is now trailing Google’s Android in the smartphone market, it would seem that the big G might be the one to watch in the tablet space as well, but things aren’t so cut and dried. In fact, it seems that the competition might come from Apple’s rival on the desktop space, namely Microsoft. This shouldn’t really come as a surprise, as Microsoft is not likely to abandon – or even give up – a segment of the computer market without a fight.
But the latest twist and turn has seen Taiwanese laptop manufacturer Micro-Star International announce it plans to release a Windows 7 tablet PC at the Computex Taipei trade show. This follows its prototype that was running the Google’s Android mobile operating system earlier this year. PC World also noted late last week that MSI is now the second major company from Taiwan to drop Google’s OS over Windows 7. The news story noted that Acer, which is now the world’s second-largest PC vendor (and also happens to be from Taiwan) is denying rumors that it might launch a device that will run Google’s Chrome OS.
So why the about face from Taiwan? One reason could be that Google has two operating systems in the game, with the mobile Android and the desktop Chrome. While fundamentally similar, they actually aren’t the same. That adds some confusion. But the more important factor is that Windows 7 is actually a really good operating system, and has erased many of the missteps of Windows Vista. It is to Vista what XP was to Millennium in many ways.
More to the point Windows 7 is a true use it anywhere OS, not one that is deeply dependent on the cloud. And that could be the biggest factor changing minds at the heart of that matter. Google Android and/or Chrome could be an operating system (or rather systems as the case maybe) whose time has still yet to come. The fact is that we may not be ready for the cloud just yet, and clearly manufacturers are seeing this too.
It was also noted last week that the Apple iPad won’t completely take over the netbook market, at least not for this year. According to new findings from ABI Research netbooks will still see shipments of 58 million this year, while the iPad will reach around eight million in sales. That’s no small number, but it will hardly be mass market for 2010. We’ll have to see what the overall tablet market for 2011 looks like once Apple, Google and Microsoft are all in the same game.
Nitro PDF Reader Blows Away Competition
Anyone who has ever used a PDF knows that these are a great way to compile old documents, including that those that have come from multiple sources, have been scanned, include images and just basically can’t be put together in another format such as Word. PDFs are also good for reducing the file size as well.