It is instead aimed at users of the fast growing handheld computer sector, comprising tablets, e-readers (such as Amazon’s Kindle) and smartphones. This is an area of the market in which Windows has so far been soundly beaten by Apple and to a much lesser extent, Android.
In June 2011, The Online Publishers Association (OPA) estimated the number of tablet users in the U.S. at 12% of the internet population, a figure that was set to rise to 23% by early 2012. The majority of units are iPads (62%, according to Market Watch), with android tablets making up a small but growing percentage.
The type of usage of tablets, e-readers and smartphones is important to consider. For instance, The Nielsen Company’s May 2011 survey estimated that of 12,000 owners, at least 65% of tablet and smartphone users used their device whilst watching TV and 50% used their preferred device whilst in bed.
With the mobile computer market being dominated by Apple, it is clear to see why Windows have targeted their latest OS at the handheld computer market, rather than focusing on an already well-established business and enterprise customer base.
Windows 8, when used on a desktop or laptop, is an amalgamation of the classic layout, seen in Windows 7, and Metro, the new style of OS. The two styles contrast, with Jekyll and Hyde like results, according to one article. Metro functions well on a tablet, which is yet more emphasis of the direction that Microsoft has pointed its latest OS system.
Is this latest edition a predecessor to all future Microsoft OS? Will Microsoft release another OS tailored towards business and enterprise separately within the next year or two, or will their next release be another mish-mash of systems designed for the handheld device and desktop PC? Business users will surely be hoping against the latter…