Monday, October 1, 2012

Tablet Wars Heat Up with New iPad Challenges

The Surface
Readers and tablet users will soon have a lot more devices to choose from.

Several companies are about to enter the tablet computer market, some of them with a new focus on business users and some of them, importantly, using Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system.

Intel last week showcased tablets from Acer, Asustek, Dell, Fujitsu, Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo and Samsung, all of which use Intel processors.

Intel is hoping the devices can help it better compete in the mobile market, which has been dominated by chip designs from Britain's ARM Holdings.

Microsoft is hoping for the samea move from PCs to mobilewith upcoming tablets from several companies that will use its new Windows 8 operating system.

Microsoft has had little luck with previous mobile OS's, which paled in comparison to the iPhone and iOS, and more recently, Google's Android operating system.

Hewlett-Packard, Dell and Lenovo are among the companies betting on Windows 8 to better compete in the $tablet market now dominated by Apple.

Hewlett-Packard is also making a fresh stab at Apple. The company was set Monday to introduce the HP ElitePad, a 10.1-inch Windows 8 device that is made to work with an optional case offering a keyboard, extra battery pack and docking port.

HP also recently introduced the Envy X2 hybrid tablet-laptop, whose screen detaches to become a tablet.

The product launches come more than a year after HP ceased its brief production of the HP TouchPad.

And even Microsoft is introducing its own tablet, named the Surface, which will run popular Microsoft Office software including Word and Excel. Not surprisingly, it too will run on the Windows 8 operating system.

And these companies will also compete against Google, which has launched its Nexus tablet.

So far only Amazon.com has had any luck going up against the iPad, with its Kindle Fire. And at least part of its success has been based on price: at $199, it offered a basic tablet at half the price of an iPad. The company now offers a cheaper model, with hopes of gaining market share and making money through its app store.

And competition can only be good for consumers. Already the Kindle Fire has brought about a new trend of smaller, and cheaper, tablets.


—John Sailors

Photo courtesy of Microsoft.
(C) 2012, by Story Crest Press.

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