Dell encouraged by early look at Windows 8 on tablets

By Tom Warren, on 17th Aug 11 4:44 pm with 50 Comments

Windows 8 start UI

Dell revealed this week that they are encouraged by Microsoft’s Windows 8 tablet offering.

Speaking during Dell’s Q2, 2011 earnings call, Dell CEO Michael Dell said the company’s work on Windows 8 tablets was “pretty encouraging.” Dell has been a long time advocate of Microsoft’s operating systems and has released a number of touch enabled devices. Dell’s Inspiron Duo is a hybrid device that allows users to switch between netbook and tablet modes. The unique netbook has a spinning screen that allows it to be used as a tablet. The company also teased a 10-inch Windows 7 tablet earlier this year.

Dell also revealed that he sees the tablet market as a two horse race between Android and Windows 8:

“We’re still quite interested in Android. I’ll also tell you that our early work on Windows 8 on the tablet side looks to be pretty encouraging. And so, we think it’s shaping up to be a competitive environment. I don’t think beyond those 2 that there are viable alternatives that make sense. So there’s a lot of other noise out there in the market that I don’t think will amount to much of anything.”

Dell’s tablet plans leaked earlier this year, indicating that the company was planning a Windows 8 based tablet codenamed “Peju” for release in early 2012. Microsoft previously unveiled its Windows 8 user interface for tablet based PCs at the All Things Digital’s D9 conference in June. The interface will include the following:

  • Fast launching of apps from a tile-based Start screen, which replaces the Windows Start menu with a customizable, scalable full-screen view of apps.
  • Live tiles with notifications, showing always up-to-date information from your apps.
  • Fluid, natural switching between running apps.
  • Convenient ability to snap and resize an app to the side of the screen, so you can really multitask using the capabilities of Windows.
  • Web-connected and Web-powered apps built using HTML5 and JavaScript that have access to the full power of the PC.
  • Fully touch-optimized browsing, with all the power of hardware-accelerated Internet Explorer 10.
Microsoft will detail further enhancements in Windows 8 at the BUILD developer conference next month. Stay tuned for full exclusive coverage at WinRumors.
  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Pedro-Roque/100000194503830 Pedro Roque

    A two horse race between Android and Windows 8?? I don’t think so. I beting Android Tablets are going the way of the Linux netbook. Remember those??

    • Jinge

      Hum, they are selling much more android tablets than linux netbooks, and apps are being developed for Android, so you may be wrong! Plus there is very cheap tablets (100-200$), and I don’t think you will ever see a Windows tablet at that price!
      But I may be wrong :)
      Anyway, having 2 OSes is better (even 3 with the IPad) because there is more competition so more innovation. Alway good for end-user, and motivating for devs-team also! You always HAVE TO imagine something new and better than what the others do. And you cannot deliver crap! That’s why MS, like all others NEED competition to be successful ;)

    • Jinge

      Hum, they are selling much more android tablets than linux netbooks, and apps are being developed for Android, so you may be wrong! Plus there is very cheap tablets (100-200$), and I don’t think you will ever see a Windows tablet at that price!
      But I may be wrong :)
      Anyway, having 2 OSes is better (even 3 with the IPad) because there is more competition so more innovation. Alway good for end-user, and motivating for devs-team also! You always HAVE TO imagine something new and better than what the others do. And you cannot deliver crap! That’s why MS, like all others NEED competition to be successful ;)

    • Aaron

      I would like to agree, but the more time goes by, the more I worry MS is getting into another market too late.  If Android get’s as much of a lead in tablets as they had with phones, then it may be hard to break into the market.  We have seen with WP7 and Zune that it takes more than just making a great product to be successful against the entrenched.

      That’s just my fear though.  My logical self would think that if MS pulls off the tablet + desktop consistent UI well then people would be crazy to choose toy android/iOS tablets when they could have a fully functional windows tablet.

    • Aaron

      I would like to agree, but the more time goes by, the more I worry MS is getting into another market too late.  If Android get’s as much of a lead in tablets as they had with phones, then it may be hard to break into the market.  We have seen with WP7 and Zune that it takes more than just making a great product to be successful against the entrenched.

      That’s just my fear though.  My logical self would think that if MS pulls off the tablet + desktop consistent UI well then people would be crazy to choose toy android/iOS tablets when they could have a fully functional windows tablet.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mohit.sachdeva Mohit Sachdeva

    Ya that noise amounts to pretty much nothing since it’s Apple and you are no partners with or anything, so we do understand Dell!!! lol

    It’s pretty amusing to me how these industry stalwarts manipulate their speeches to showcase their own sides…..

    Not to mention that I am no Apple fanboy or anything….just an observation I wanted to make…..

    And I do like the point he made about Windows 8, we all are waiting for next month’s conference, aren’t we!? :)

  • Anonymous

    OK, I understand that OEMs want to hedge their bets rather than betting the farm as it where but it’s ridiculous to take your company and commit to two rival platforms… sure it has some appeal to management in a cover-all-bases sort of way but the only message it sends to consumers is that Apple are the only guys offering something with an ecosystem and security. If an OEM can’t decide which OS to side with then why would a consumer choose that?

    If Dell, Sony and especially HP want to get serious with tablets put your money into one platform… not two.

    • Southerngeek

      In fairness, W7 for tablets is a poor solution. And Dell, and others, had appealed to MS for a long time to come up with somethingg more appropriate. But I agree that once MS provides that, if they do with W8, then people like DELL, Asus, etc. pushing both just divides resources, confuses the message to consumers, and ultimately makes it easier for Apple to dominate.

  • Anonymous

    OK, I understand that OEMs want to hedge their bets rather than betting the farm as it where but it’s ridiculous to take your company and commit to two rival platforms… sure it has some appeal to management in a cover-all-bases sort of way but the only message it sends to consumers is that Apple are the only guys offering something with an ecosystem and security. If an OEM can’t decide which OS to side with then why would a consumer choose that?

    If Dell, Sony and especially HP want to get serious with tablets put your money into one platform… not two.

  • BigChiefSmokem

    I hope Michael Dell learned his lesson from Google+ Hangouts… we don’t care about your hardware, we care about the software that will run it.

    If Dell picks Android over Windows then they are bigger fools than I thought.

    (btw I’m still bitter about the spectacularly failure of a launch you gave the Venue Pro)

    • Anonymous

      If Dell was going to go with Android, i think they would have wanted to release one earlyer. 

      Maybe its just me But Dell has really turned around in the past year. their new laptops look great compared to thier older offerings.

    • OMG55

      I think you hit the Nail-On-The-Head with your statement. As for hardware, they really have improved. I just purchase the XPS 15z with the high end i7 processor & 1.5GHz video Card, 6GB of RAM, 15.6″ HD-LED display, etc. and it’s great.

    • OMG55

      I think you hit the Nail-On-The-Head with your statement. As for hardware, they really have improved. I just purchase the XPS 15z with the high end i7 processor & 1.5GHz video Card, 6GB of RAM, 15.6″ HD-LED display, etc. and it’s great.

  • Anonymous

    So far android and win7 has proven to be a failure in the tablet space and Apple is ligh years ahead of the competition.  The only real option left is win8 and I really hope MS brings the kind of ingenuity they brought into wp7 . If they manage to do than and get rid of some of the bloatwares of windows7 and the previous  Windows OS(annoying updates, occasional unresponsiveness, viruses, sluggish start ups etc) they should do just fine. 

    I hope they become more strict on hardware like they are doing on wp7 and het rid of OEMs like Acer,Packardbell,Asus etc who make crappy hardware. We need more Samsung,HTC,Nokia?,Sony etc.

    • Jinge

      I have Toshiba laptop and Asus netbook, I am 100% fine with my choices. 
      But I agree, I would never buy a PB, LG or Acer (even if I think these two last are trying to improve their quality…)
      And Apple is mainly selling because it is Apple. Very few people need nor know how to use a tablet! But people buy because they see ads everywhere and it looks nice. Apple can do it, MS sell useful things, and don’t know how to sell useless things. That’s bad for them, but a good thing I think.
      The tablet market will increase until every home has one, then decrease very quickly I think, because there is no real need and added value compare to a netbook… Or they will get keyboards, but won’t be called tablets anymore!

    • Anonymous

      I dont think Toshiba and Acers’s laptops/notebooks are that bad. they could still make win8 laptops etc but I wished they stay clear of the tablets

    • Shahid

      I agree. I purchased an ipad but after few days playing with it most of the time it stayed on my table idel and today i sold it.

    • Anonymous

      Try to tell that nonsense to the business adopters of the iPad… FAA, Alaska Airlines, British Airways, Delta to name a few… And the medical industry is embracing it fully too.

      How many homes are there in the world? That a pretty damned big market. Much larger than the market netbooks or laptops have. Decrease? No added value compared to netbooks? Then why aren’t netbooks everywhere, in every home? I’ll tell you. Netbooks aren’t even as capable as a 10 year old PC. And they are incredibly hard to use with tiny keys and screens so small you can’t read anything. Why would anybody want one?

      Tablets have none of those faults, and are easy to use without training. No added value? Get real!

    • Bill

      I don’t think win7 was ever designed for tablets or tablet hw….

      I have win 7 & it has no bloatware?

    • Anonymous

      Windows 7 was partly designed for tablets, just check the images above with Ballmer holding the tablets or go to the control panel of your systen and you will notice lot of tablet related settings.. just that it was a very poor attempt looking at how Apple came in strongly.  And yes win7 does have lot of bloatware.. maybe you dont know what a bloatware is.

    • Anonymous

      Windows 7 was partly designed for tablets, just check the images above with Ballmer holding the tablets or go to the control panel of your systen and you will notice lot of tablet related settings.. just that it was a very poor attempt looking at how Apple came in strongly.  And yes win7 does have lot of bloatware.. maybe you dont know what a bloatware is.

  • Anonymous

    Dell’s not calling the tablet market a two horse race. He’s saying that for Dell the only two viable OSes to bring a tablet to market are Android and Win8. That means no Ubuntu, no Meego, no webOS, etc.

  • OMG55

    Can someone tell me why MS won’t build their own line of PC, Tablets, and phones? After all, apparently their partner agreement allow the manufactures to build and market MS competitor devices. Should the agreement also state, “MS reserves the right the right to Build some products in house with their own branding”? Their partner are not solely MS.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Pedro-Roque/100000194503830 Pedro Roque

      I don’t think that MS would have much to gain if they were to take the OEMs head on. But perhaps they could partner with one of them and produce a reference model.

    • Andrew

      I’d spend a little more for a quality MS branded device.
      I will give Apple credit for their control over a quality product.

    • Guest

      I had a Microsoft Phone once, a month before I upgraded to Windows 98 and the damn thing stopped working.  Same thing happened with my Microsoft Sidewinder and Gamepad.

      That of course a decade ago… but MS doesn’t have the exprience to make a quality product and stand behind it.. look at what happened with Creative labs, they would spill out a new product every 2 months, and stopped making drivers for them just as fast.

      Yes, the Xbox is great, but it’s not worth going against Dell and HP.

    • Jinge

      If they would like to do so, they would have always to propose the best hardware, frequently renewed, and never have problems to keep a good image. Too much worries and troubles, I don’t think it worth it… But I agree it would be great to have official products.
      Their hardware lines are great (at least mouses and keyboards). I have seen some prototypes in MS offices, they also have great ideas. 
      But to keep good relations with OEMs and don’t go on the Google/android path, they now have to keep their current strategy. 

    • Guest

      Because something like 80% of their revenue comes from the OEM channel. If they compete against them, that eventually goes away. But you’re right, MS is clearly losing control of its OEMs and may have to go more direct in the not too distant future.

    • Bill

      I do think Microsoft should partner with Dell, HP, Intel or AMD or any other OEM and make a Microsoft spec pc, where microsoft spec the hardware & software that can be used…  I think a lot the OEM’s messed systems with bad configs & bloatware giving microsoft a bad image…

  • http://twitter.com/oolong2 oolong2

    All things being equal (look & feel,  usability, etc) Android doesn’t stand a chance against Windows.

    There’s just too much behind Windows.

    • Jinge

      Android has a chance: Windows is not out yet ;)
      Once people get used to it, and have all their data sync, they might stick to it… 

    • Bill

      totally agree people forget how big the windows world is, example if you magically made windows disappear the world would almost stop….If you took away osx or android you would hardly notice…

    • Anonymous

      Odd. Has Google stopped without Windows? Not even a blip… London Stock Exchange abandoned it too… Hmmm… Who’s next?

    • Anonymous

      Odd. Has Google stopped without Windows? Not even a blip… London Stock Exchange abandoned it too… Hmmm… Who’s next?

    • Anonymous

      20 years of Windows tablet work, and still no traction. You really expect it in Windows 8?

    • Anonymous

      20 years of Windows tablet work, and still no traction. You really expect it in Windows 8?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NZRPL7DK7DFQQO44J5TM4PQLGU Harvey

    “Dell also revealed that he sees the tablet market as a two horse race between Android and Windows 8:”…
    WTH!!
    You know, comments like that is what makes me doubt a lot of talk the executives at the top are saying.
    Come on, i’m a BIG Windows fan and can’t wait for the Windows 8 tablet to come out.
    But to say that Android ( slumping sales, xoom didn’t meet the hype ) is going to be in the top two is crazy.
    To make it crazier, Windows currently doesn’t even have an answer for the iPad yet.  And to go absolutly bonkers….the iPad isn’t #1?  Come on man!!!!!!!! 
    I’m a die-hard MS fan ( developer ) and I don’t even allow iPads in my crib, but to deny the iPad???  Dang!

    • Guest

      well, Dell is a direct competitor of Apple, so it makes no sence to promote their product..  Dell on the other hand is a big supporter of Microsoft, so for sure they’ll release windows tablets.  but if windows 8 is going to take a while, they can start building the android just to get in the game early…

      they have the Streak (Android) and the Dell Venue Pro (WP7)… they’re in it to make money, not to take sides.

    • Aaron

      I think he is specifically talking about tablet OS’s that they can license.  iOS isn’t licensed by anyone so that is why he doesn’t mention it as a consideration for Dell.

    • Aaron

      I think he is specifically talking about tablet OS’s that they can license.  iOS isn’t licensed by anyone so that is why he doesn’t mention it as a consideration for Dell.

    • Jinge

      I think he is talking about his company, and OSes they can use. He just didn’t want to say Linux is not a viable alternative, so they are just going to ship Android and Win tablets..

    • Anonymous

      exactly,

      Dell was asked about the Google Motorola acquisition and how this could change the company’s strategy and Dell replied that they will still continue with Android and also with Windows 8 as they are the 2 viable alternatives. meaning no WebOS, Meego, or whatever other OS is out there

      How that came to be that Dell said that the tablet market will be a two horse race I dont know.

  • Guest

    Not the strongest endorsement from Dell. Amazing how much things have changed over the past decade. There was a time when MS could have counted 100% on his allegiance. But with Longhorn, Vista, and most recently the mobile and tablets failures, they blew it.

    • Aaron

      I would counter that its the OEM’s like Dell who screwed up Vista.  Vista honestly does work well if you put it on the right hardware.  Problem was, the OEM’s sold a bunch of low to medium end machines advertised as “Vista capable” which ran terrible since the OS was never meant to run on XP rated hardware.  In the end though I am glad Vista reaction changed MS philosophy with each operating system needing to consume more machine resources.

    • Guest

      You’re talking to someone who ran Vista from pre RC version. Vista was and is a pig. So yeah, given enough CPU and RAM it ran okay. But why would Dell or other OEMs want to beef up hardware at a time they were all scurrying to sell the cheapest box possible? Look, I generally think OEMs have shown far too little innovation and taken too little initiative. But it’s tough to premium price your offering when selling a defacto standard OS against everyone else.

      And if you run OS X on a PC vs even W7, which runs leaner, you’ll find out that OS X (and Linux) perform MUCH better on limited configs. So ultimately whose fault is that? I’d argue MS’s. And it’s become a competitive negative. Because tablet mfgs generally want to run the most restricted hardware possible in order to keep costs down vs iPad. And if you need more CPU and RAM for Windows vs say Android, then it becomes a no brainer.

    • Anonymous

      Win 8 will have lower requirements, or so they say.

    • Anonymous

      Nonsense.

      Windows is the only OS that can be installed on 5 exact same spec machines but result in 2 not installing properly and 3 with different levels of stability. Vista was worse. MS loves to blame the hardware.

      In the CES demo of Vista where BG failed to demonstrate the OS, it was the hardware’s fault, right? Did they not test its operation beforehand? Yes they did. Stop blaming the OEMs for the crappy job MS has done with Windows. Sure it may sell well, but consumers basically have no choice in the matter.

    • Aaron

      I would counter that its the OEM’s like Dell who screwed up Vista.  Vista honestly does work well if you put it on the right hardware.  Problem was, the OEM’s sold a bunch of low to medium end machines advertised as “Vista capable” which ran terrible since the OS was never meant to run on XP rated hardware.  In the end though I am glad Vista reaction changed MS philosophy with each operating system needing to consume more machine resources.

  • http://www.facebook.com/richeymeister Mark Richey

    Windows 8, however runs across many different platforms, including laptops, desktops, and ARM. If truly Windows, there is also the compatibility with full^blown software, not just apps. Power users, business already heavily invested in Office, etc. will make this more competitive than simply comparing the current Android to, say, Windows Phone.

  • Kaizad Avari

    windows 8. welcome to the future!!!