Earlier today, computer maker Asus kicked off the Consumer Electronics Show a day early by announcing four upcoming tablet computers. Three of them run Google’s Android operating system. One runs Windows 7. See if you can guess which one is the outlier:
- Eee Pad MeMO: starts at $499
- Eee Pad Slider: starts at $499
- Eee Pad Transformer: starts at $399
- Eee Slate: starts at $999
That’s right–the Windows 7 tablet is the one that costs twice as much as the Android tablets.
Of course, it’s got pretty amazing technical specs, including a Core i5-470 UVM processor and 4GB of memory. That’s probably enough power to run Photoshop or your company’s SAP app…because after all, isn’t that what you want a small touch-screen device to do?
This is the problem with Microsoft’s current tablet strategy of packing Windows into a small touch screen device.
If you want the real version of Windows 7–not some stripped-down version that offers few benefits over Windows XP–that’s Windows 7 Home Premium. It’s not only more expensive than Android, but also requires better hardware.
And it’s not even designed for tablets. The user interface is designed for a cursor and a mouse, not fingers. There are few touch-enabled applications for it. Android is cheaper, built for touch, and has more than 200,000 available apps.
Microsoft may be waiting for Windows 8 (or whatever it ends up being called) to port Windows to the cheaper, lower-powered ARM processors, but that won’t happen until 2012 at the earliest, giving Android plenty of time to build a huge lead….just like it did in smartphones.
In case you’ve forgotten, Apple’s iPad starts at $499, and the iPad 2 will probably be even cheaper.