2012 may be a key year for the future of Microsoft. Although there may be many releases this one year, one stands above all others. The launch of Windows 8, which we can enjoy beta form in February next year. This system will mark the arrival of Microsoft in the field of tablets and development of touch environments in the most widely used operating system in the world. However, it is the only field in which the company must show its ability to adapt to current times.
Much is expected of Windows 8. The operating system has already the first signs of which can become a very attractive interface that prioritizes Touch but with the option to keep the desktop environment as made famous by Microsoft. However, its entry into the market of tablets is difficult to guess, because they will find a market with two well-defined actors: Apple with its iPhone and a lot of manufacturers running Android. It should be simpler implementation in ultrabooks, thin and powerful laptops that could begin to bring touchscreens to exploit the capabilities of Windows 8.
Buoyed by the release of Android 4.0 and Windows 8 operating systems, tablet PCs will dominate the touch-controlled device market in 2012 with models below 10.1-inch sizes accounting for a majority share, according to industry sources.
In addition to next-generation iPads and Kindle Fires, Sony is eager to launch new tablet PCs integrated with its digital game software and audio/video platform, said sources, adding that other vendors including Samsung Electronics, HTC and Asustek Computer will also roll out new models integrated with Android 4.0 and Windows 8.
While Acer reportedly planning to phase out from the tablet PC market, it remains to be seen if Hewlett-Packard (HP) and Research in Motion (RIM) will rekindle their tablet PC businesses in 2012, the sources noted.
Given strong sales of Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet PCs, there is a clear indication that the size of the tablet PC market will continue to expand in 2012 and that Apple might not be able to continue dominating the segment in the coming year, commented the sources.
Global shipments of tablet PCs are expected to top 100 million units in 2012 compared to 60 million units in 2011, according to data from a number of market research firms.