The Hybrid Tablet from Microsoft
Microsoft may have a way of competing with Apple and the iPad. It is with a hybrid tablet. With the introduction of Windows 8, Microsoft and Intel can give customers the best of both worlds in a single device. This is especially true when it used on a laptop-centered hybrid where one can detach the screen (tablet) and then also used as a true tablet that takes full advantage of Metro.
When in Ultrabook laptop mode, users can work with the familiar Windows 7 like user interface, the one they’re accustomed to, and still be able to access hundreds of thousands of Windows apps. But when the screen detaches, it automatically switches to the Metro user interface and the touch experience is now central to the device. In this mode, apps designed for Metro can give users an engaging tablet experience right out of the box.
The Apple Hardware
How is this hybrid tablet a way to compete against Apple? Like this. Apple produces two products that stand by themselves. There’s the iPad that stands by itself, and then the MacBook Air, Apple’s Ultrabook that also stands by itself as a separate product, like the iPad. But each has its own operating system. The two are distinct and separate operating systems. The hybrid tablet operates on one OS and this can be an advantage. Microsoft can support and have developers create apps under one umbrella, not two.
Can Apple fight back?
The Microsoft / Intel partnership on the hybrid tablet could be a niche that could create problems for Apple. So can they fight back?
If Apple is known for anything, it is for innovative design. So it could create a hybrid tablet that blends the iPad and the MacBook Air into a single device. And this could make them dominant in this area, and let them continue to be the dominant tablet maker in the industry.
Then on the other hand, a hybrid tablet made by Apple would validate the Intel and Microsoft’s strategy as well. And that could be a marketing phenomenon. At least four hybrids are set to come out by October. This could be the product that highlights the value of an Intel-based x86 system but it may in turn convince Windows users of the need for Ultrabooks and tablets running Windows 8.
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