AH Tech Talk: Microsoft is Not Happy With PC Makers’ Rebellion at 2014 CES

ATIV Q

Samsung ATIV Q

There are several facts I want to go over before we move on to the rest of this article – First it’s that companies, such as Intel and other PC manufacturers, are in business to make money. Secondly, most PCs and laptops run Microsoft’s Windows operating system. Yes, Chromebooks are gaining rapidly in sales, but for the most part, when you purchase a Dell, HP, Lenovo, etc., it will be running Microsoft Windows. Third, Windows tablets were not a “hit” with the public, and while they may have had a few sophisticated commercials to convince you the Windows was “cool,” not many people fell for it…and oh, not having enough applications for it did not help its chances.  Lastly, PC sales are in the toilet and continue to swirl down the sales charts more each and every year.

Because of the above facts, manufacturers of PCs and laptops running Microsoft Windows are not a happy bunch. The chip manufacturers are upset because the PC and laptop manufacturers are no longer buying their chips in mass quantities. Now some of this lost income has to fall squarely on the chip manufacturers’ shoulders, after all, their CEOs should have seen the “writing on the wall” and started manufacturing mobile chips for smartphones and tablets and promoting them to Apple and Android manufacturers – then maybe there would be an advanced Intel chip inside my Samsung smartphone, rather than a Qualcomm Snapdragon or Samsung Exynos processor.

Windows-RT-8-1-Preview-Will-Need-10-GB-of-Free-Storage-Space

Windows RT 8.1

The PC and laptop manufacturers are not a happy bunch as they also are losing sales at an alarming rate – mostly PCs, but laptop sales are also dropping in favor of lightweight Airbooks or Chromebooks, as well as tablets. Again, the manufacturers must shoulder some of the blame as they should have switched over to lightweights and tablets. We are now, more than ever, a mobile society and no longer strapped to a desk as more and more people work from home, or commute to the office only once a week or even once a month for meetings. Workers need the portability that a lightweight book or tablet can afford, as they take their “job” back and forth on the bus, subway, or in their car.

Most businesses still use Microsoft based programs while most individuals do not – the perfect solution is to have the capability for a tablet to run BOTH, and even at the same time. This is already a reality and Samsung has shown this to us in their ATIV Q, and ASUS has hinted that they too, will introduce a Dual-Boot device at the 2014 CES. Samsung’s device has been revealed, tested, and is receiving great reviews – the only thing stopping Samsung is a possible lawsuit, so while their legal team decides that it is “sue-proof,” it will not go on sale.

ATIV Q feature

Samsung ATIV Q

These hybrid devices are launching slowly out of the gate, but make no mistake – they will be a force to be reckoned with in the near future. At CES 2014, Microsoft will face a “rebellion” of its long-time partners as OEMs bring out devices that are capable of running both Microsoft Windows and Google’s Android at the same time. Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy said:

“This should scare the heck out of Microsoft. They should be very, very afraid because if it goes widespread, it demotivates developers to create native Windows apps.”

In explaining how the two operating systems co-exist, Moorhead says:

“There are three [possible] implementations, including dual-boot, which would be a fast-switch mode where you press a button and within seconds you’re in Android. Others would include software emulation of Android within Windows, and some type of virtual-based solution that would run an instance of Android in a virtual machine, just as OS X users can run Windows on their Macs through VMware’s Fusion or Parallels’ Desktop for Mac.”

OEMs were used to getting a big push in sales with each Windows upgrade, but not any more – nobody wants Windows 8. It is understandable that Microsoft was trying to cross platforms in hopes of people accepting their Windows-based smartphones if their main PC also had the same “look.” But with application developers looking to the more lucrative iOS and Android platforms, Microsoft is having a hard time convincing the public that Windows is the way to go. By adding Android to their devices, they can pull buyers from their old Windows devices and increase their sales, but like Moorehead said earlier – this should be a real concern for Microsoft as developers find even fewer reasons to develop applications for Windows-based devices.

Google could also retaliate by not allowing the devices to download from the their Google Play Store if the full-screen implementation would threaten their revenue if PCs aren’t tied to Android services like searching and mapping that bind customers to their ecosystem.

Like it or not, the dual-system is here to stay and is the future of computing, until the next new idea comes along – So Microsoft, Google, Samsung, and others, will have to work it out amongst themselves. CES will kick off the tempo for the upcoming year and Intel will be the biggest cheerleader, touting“a tablet when you want it, and a laptop when you need it.”  

Let us know on our Google+ Page if you are interested in this type of device – would you like a dual-booting device or is an Android tablet all you need?

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