WinRumors is reporting that Microsoft will demo its Windows 8 Tablet UI at D9 and that it may introduce Windows 8 ARM-based tablets ahead of a full desktop release. If true, these would certainly be positive developments for Microsoft, which has failed to keep pace with Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android OS in the tablet space.
But it may be also be a case of too little, too late.
Its Mango updates to Windows Phone 7 and partnership with Nokia indicate otherwise. They show that Microsoft, though slow to react to smartphone offerings from the very same competitors, is at least on the cusp of catching up in terms of smartphone specs and OS. Nevertheless, when it comes to tablets, Apple and Google are already off and running, and with apps being the main driver, Microsoft may be better off simply using Android’s openness (as Amazon and Barnes & Noble have done generally in mobile) to accelerate its ability to compete.
This is where BlueStacks‘ ability to run Android (pulling in apps from Amazon and other Android stores) and Windows simultaneously and seamlessly on PCs could be so useful in at least stemming the bleeding.
Encouraging tablet PC manufacturers to adopt products like BlueStacks could give the rumored Windows 8 app store time to develop. Then users would have the best of Windows and Android at their fingertips.
This is truly a development that Google and Apple should worry about. Will temporarily locking down Honeycomb be enough for Google to retain control of Android? We will have to wait and see. In the end, Amazon may turn out to be the real winner here with its Android app store and tablets. I for one can’t wait to see how this plays out.