IDC Expects Windows 8 To Do Little for Normal PCs

Posted by at 3:01 pm on December 5, 2011

Windows 8 will be “largely irrelevant” to anyone who isn’t using a tablet PC variant, IDC analysts predicted this weekend. Suggesting it was even more true than for Windows 7, System Software research VP Al Gillen and others saw any Windows 8 upgrades coming as part of the regular PC refresh cycle. Most of the changes revolve around touch, something which is largely non-existent on the desktop.

“We expect effectively no upgrade activity from Windows 7 to Windows 8 in that form factor,” IDC said.

While it would help tablets, Windows 8 was already expected to face a “disappointing” take-up in the market. Microsoft had a “tall order” in not only trying to make a good tablet experience but achieve the same effect on both ARM- and Intel-based tablets in a market where the iPad was the unambiguous leader. “While the x86 tablet strategy makes sense as a transitional solution for today‚Äôs PC users, it will be the ARM-based devices that need to shine and clear a high bar already set by Apple,” IDC added.

Many of the rumors have had Microsoft taking as close to an iPad-like model as possible for ARM-based Windows 8 tablets. Along with having chip designers working closely with only specific PC builders, it may be dropping the conventional destkop on non-Intel tablets, both to create a consistent experience but also to spur developers to write tablet-native apps.

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