Microsoft says tablets will outsell desktop PCs next year

By on June 27, 2012, 3:30 PM

During a keynote speech at Microsoft’s annual TechEd conference in Europe, head of Windows Web Services Antoine Leblond predicted that tablets will outsell desktop systems in 2013. This may come as a surprise to many considering Microsoft currently owns zero percent of the tablet market share but as Leblond pointed out during his speech, 60 percent of PCs sold today are laptops, a sign that people are steadily moving away from the anchored desktop platform.

Of course, the Microsoft rep didn’t specifically say that their offering alone would outsell desktops, but even still, it’s a pretty bold statement. Neowin points out that Microsoft seems to believe that the introduction of Windows 8 and Windows RT for tablets will make their vision a reality, both through their own branded offerings and third party devices.

Microsoft unveiled their Surface tablets earlier this month during a media event in Los Angeles. The units were generally well-received by media but some key factors like battery life and suggested retail price still remain unknown at this time.

Leblond spent some of his time elaborating more on Windows 8, pointing out that it is an old and new bet for Microsoft. He said that Windows 7 was rooted in the last generational change for Windows which occurred with Windows 95. Windows 8 is described as the next generational change, although he was quick to point out that it was still Windows.

“You don't have to compromise. It works equally well in a managed or an unmanaged environment, or a mixed environment,” Leblond said. “You don't have to choose between the device you want [and the corporate device] you're given.” 

The company also used the keynote to demonstrate various apps designed for the European market, including a Vodafone Metro app.




User Comments: 23

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soldier1969 soldier1969 said:

Not in my household they wont. I upgrade my desktop every year for the max settings in games at 2560 x 1600 res. GTX 690 and 2 x 512 ssd are in the upgrade path for me this Summer. I have a massive Galaxy Note on AT&T for everything else.

Trillionsin Trillionsin said:

havent bought a tablet yet, and I've lost my interest...

Guest said:

no chance if they cost 1000 USD (nearly double the price of an iPad).

the can have real chance if they go REALLY down in the price.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Not in my household they wont.

havent bought a tablet yet

no chance if they cost 1000 USD

That about sums it up for me.

Guest said:

I see people constantly spending $1000 on a laptop. If someone has the functionality of a desktop(IE software support and keyboard/mouse support) in a tablet, it'd be really hard to just ignore it. What if laptops in general go the way of MS's view of tablets? People who want a laptop and a tablet wouldn't have to pay $1800 for a laptop and an ipad. I believe this is what Microsoft 's vision of the future of computer. Where tablets and laptops become more of an grey area being able to switch between the two.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

How many years have various "experts" been saying this? And it hasn't come close to happening yet.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I see people constantly spending $1000 on a laptop. If someone has the functionality of a desktop(IE software support and keyboard/mouse support) in a tablet, it'd be really hard to just ignore it. What if laptops in general go the way of MS's view of tablets? People who want a laptop and a tablet wouldn't have to pay $1800 for a laptop and an ipad. I believe this is what Microsoft 's vision of the future of computer. Where tablets and laptops become more of an grey area being able to switch between the two.

Thank you!

An Intel-processor-having, full-version-of-Windows tablet =/= iPad.

If you just want to sit on Facebook and watch YouTube, then spending a grand on one of the upper tier Windows tablets is stupid.

I think what they're referring to is that a computer is becoming less needed for things that a typical user actually does. I haven't installed the Windows 8 preview yet, but I'm assuming that like Windows 7, its continuing the trend of doing more with older hardware. That is a key.

If you set aside hardcore gamers, which a lot of us are, but we're a tiny fraction of the computer using public, then the need to upgrade a new computer with each iteration of a new OS is becoming less necessary. I installed Windows 7 on my dad's computer about a year and a half ago, and compared to Vista its like a new computer, everything is pretty fast. I could probably install 8 on it, and keep going. As long as people didn't skimp on RAM in the first place, hardware has a lot more longevity. And if the main house PC does not need to get upgraded, then perhaps the money will be spent on a tablet.

All I can say for the tablet haters is that I was one of you, but now I love them, and for me they've become a core part of my electronic household, along with my desktops, my laptop and my phone.

RealXboxMaster said:

Letme translate it. I never bought ,owned or used a tablet. I never plan on getting either. 1. Their made really CHEAP! 2. it will generate ALOT of heat like laptops and will prone to have issues down the road. 3. You cant replace battery your self! 4. Desktop PC's will always rule!!! Because, if a sound,video,harddrive ever goes its easy accessible and easy to replace. Tablets on the other hand are throwaway Tablets, if video goes or sound your fukd.

ikesmasher said:

we'll have to wait and see, although I am ready to laugh in MS face if it doesnt.

And I personally doubt it will.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Letme translate it. I never bought ,owned or used a tablet. I never plan on getting either. 1. Their made really CHEAP! 2. it will generate ALOT of heat like laptops and will prone to have issues down the road. 3. You cant replace battery your self! 4. Desktop PC's will always rule!!! Because, if a sound,video,harddrive ever goes its easy accessible and easy to replace. Tablets on the other hand are throwaway Tablets, if video goes or sound your fukd.

So instead we should just carry our desktops and monitors around everywhere? Its hard to find power strips everywhere.

EEatGDL said:

I wouldn't be surprised neither care about the news, because there's a lot of people prefering to build up their rigs or at least in my country buying built systems without brand in PC stores to save the extra they would pay for just the brand. For me the only products that make sense buying from known brands are the portable/mobile ones.

Seventh Reign Seventh Reign said:

So its official. Microsoft has no flipping idea what they are talking about.

Guest said:

"Microsoft says tablets will outsell desktop PCs next year"

Yes, to people who spend hours every week on the internet doing nothing productive, that is...if they're not playing computer games or watching TV. Oh wait, isn't that the majority?

I feel sorry for these people...sigh

Guest said:

so if tablets will not "replace" desktop computers, what basis did apple have that it will grow more than the google-powered tablets?

I think tablets will eventually rule due to its portability but will not eliminate desktop computers...

it will be cannibalizing the traditional laptop/netbook/ultrabook (microsoft-powered surface tablets; asus transformer tablet series)...

we go to work or go outside our home, we will be carrying these tablets (from microsoft, apple, google).

if at home, we fire up our super desktops.

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Sounds like a reasonable prediction. I certainly have my eye on the newly announced Nexus 7, and might even get a Ainol NOVO7 Mars (which has very decent specs at under $100) so the kids don't hog the Nexus 7. Tablets have finally fallen to a low enough price with decent enough specs that they make perfect sense for a lot of content consumption.

I still have a desktop PC, and even got an HTPC recently, which could be classified as a desktop, but I'm pretty sure I'll make more use of the tablet than my desktop, even at home.

Arris Arris said:

Depends on what they bring in as the price point.

For doing anything productive beyond writing a document then you need more than the power of some of these tablets. Intel 4000 HD graphics is still feeble with any 3d graphics/games. And those productive people won't be trying to edit videos and create 3d animations, render them on their tablet on the tube/bus to work. They will do that in their own time on a nice desktop with a big monitor.

As others have said the people that just want to use facebook and watch youtube videos don't need $1000 tablet.

Guest said:

Sounds like most posters here are basing their reality around their personal views rather than what's actually happening. No-one - especially Microsoft - cares if you refuse to buy a tablet, or if you think tablet users are ****** or whatever, the reality is desktops (which is what I'm typing on right now, for the record) have been in decline for years, and are not in the minority of computers sold, and a large proportion of those are in the enterprise sector, which means as far as consumers are concerned laptops completely dominate the market. That's a fact whether we like it or not.

Second part is that tablets are set to explode (although I'd argue that will have more to do with Android than Windows 8) regardless of your opinion of them. Most consumers use their PC's as consumption devices, just for a handful of simple tasks, e.g. web browsing, instant messaging, and media playback, that's why the average laptop costs $300-$500, because people have no need for powerful hardware. Once the tablet market is more mature (at the moment it's dominated by iOS, Android is still a smartphone OS being shoehorned into tablets, and Microsoft don't have an offering yet) the average consumer is going to have a smaller, more convenient device, much more appliance-like in behavior and they will sell in massive numbers.

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Heh, that's just the standard mode of thinking on the internet: if I don't like something then it's obviously a piece of crap and anyone who wants it or (worse) buys it is an *****.

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I find it hilarious that 'I-d-I-o-t' was censored by 'crap' wasn't.

Jim$ter said:

I agree this will happen once the tablet is as powerful as a desktop and allows you to hook it up to a large display with cable or wireless....Basically if it can do everything a desktop can but is also portable then this prediction will come true. People want the ability to use a large screen...I never use a laptop or a tablet for this very reason..Sure once in awhile but as my main display I want it big.

Guest said:

Oh, thank you telling us this Microsoft. Now, at least I understand why you completely abandoned the desktop power user in favor of the content consuming tablet user when designing Windows 8. I feel so much better now knowing that it was all about the money.

Mantrhax Mantrhax said:

Tablets are great when u are making a poo !!

Appzalien said:

I would imagine one reason is as people become more comfortable building their own, less people are buying OEM. You can't build your own tablet.

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