Will small, affordable mobile devices help market for Windows 8?

May 8, 2013

While the numbers on migration to Windows 8 haven’t been stellar so far, there’s hope that with the release of more advanced mobile devices, more users will come to appreciate the convenience offered by Microsoft’s newest OS.

Business Insider recently reported on one such device – Amazon.com briefly leaked a web page marketing a new Windows 8 tablet made by Acer. The tablet will be priced at $380 and run the full version of Windows 8, according to the Amazon listing, which means it will accept Windows 7 apps as well.

While there’s little yet in the way of concrete evidence that the Windows 8 tablet market is booming, a trend may well be on the horizon. If the Acer tablet is released soon and others follow suit, consumers may flock to the new OS and the convenient handheld devices that accommodate it.

“[The Acer tablet is] the first glimpse we have at what should be a whole slew of smaller and cheaper Windows 8 tablets launching in the second half of the year,” industry expert Steve Kovach writes. “Lately, consumers have been gravitating toward such devices, as evidenced by the surge in iPad sales since Apple released the iPad Mini.”

Will new devices bolster sales?

The hope for Microsoft is that with the release of better mobile devices, more users will embrace Windows 8, since currently, the market for the new OS is still sluggish. Windows 8 was released in October 2012, and after more than six months, it still controls only a minuscule portion of the OS market. According to ZDNet, 44.72 percent of users were running Windows 7 on their machines as of the end of April – Windows XP (38.31 percent) was in second place, Windows Vista (4.75 percent) third and Windows 8 (3.82 percent) fourth.

Microsoft has tried to nudge users toward operating system upgrades by cutting off customer service for old OS​’s, starting with XP in April 2014. Between the service transition and the growth of new mobile devices, the corporation is hoping to encourage more OS migration soon.

ZDNet speculated that Windows 8 might become known as “New Coke” – a new product from a major corporation that didn’t sell as expected. Microsoft is doing everything it can to fight that perception, though, and the sale of new, convenient mobile computing devices may prove to be a step in the right direction.