IDC sees the first wave of Windows 8 tablet (both ARM and x86 based) adopters to be very similar to the original iPad adopters: Business executives who are less price sensitive but highly appreciate enterprise oriented features. According to respondents of IDC's BYOD survey, 20 percent indicated that they will buy a Windows 8 tablet and another 25 percent indicated they will buy both a Windows 8 tablet and PC, with another 45 percent considering purchasing.
With the Surface for Windows RT (ARM version of Windows 8) pre-order selling out within a few days in the US, Canada and UK, Microsoft must capitalise on the momentum and appeal to BYOD users. In Asia Pacific, consumers have already seen various devices from Microsoft partners designed to run Windows 8.
For consumers, Windows 8 means new choices in devices and user experience. For Microsoft, Windows 8 is a risk that it must take in order to stay relevant in a highly competitive space. While enterprises in Asia Pacific may not switch their PC fleets to Windows 8 in the immediate future, Microsoft has the opportunity to create a whole new enterprise segment: The Business Tablet.
Ian Song is Research Manager, Client Devices, IDC Asia/Pacific.
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