Isabelle Durand

Isabelle Durand, Principal Research Analyst, Gartner

She makes a darn good point that people don’t need a bulky,overweight, OS bloated Slate touch computer, when a cheap iPad will do the job. The only thing is she’s got the timeframe all wrong, it won’t take 2-3 years, Microsoft is already beat, game-over. The other thing, as far as I’m aware, she’s the only analyst that has refered to iPad as cheap.

But I have to disagree with Isabelle, that it’s not only the price, it’s also the form factor, poor battery life, god-awful Windows 8 OS, and much more. Microsoft (MSFT) has clearly demonstrated that they are completely out of touch (pun intended) with the rest of us (pun intended again).

Microsoft bet big on touch to compete with these other devices. Demand for traditional PCs is weak, which makes sense given it’s a mature product category. Touchscreen models, whether true tablet or hybrids, offer something different, but not necessarily more enough. They compete with media tablets like Apple’s iPad that offer similar top-line functionality for hundreds of dollars less. For many consumers, iPad, or even smaller tablets, is good enough. So on a touchscreen-to-touchscreen comparison, media slates win, and that phenomenon has little to do with Windows 8.

“The majority of consumers remain unwilling to pay the price premium for touchscreen capabilities on PCs at this stage”, Isabelle Durand, Gartner principal research analyst, says. “But, even so, touchscreens and Windows 8 will represent key opportunities for PC manufacturers in the second half of 2013″. The personal computer will be radically different, and even unrecognizable, in three years, I predict.

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