With the recent announcement by Amazon a friend of mine started saying he thought that these low-end tablets are going to hurt Windows 8. Granted some of these tablets are cheap going under the $200 mark, but I really don’t think it will and here is why.
Will these low-end tablets hurt Windows 8? Maybe. Windows 8 devices are going to be more expensive for sure as they all will be Intel (X86/X64) based. Now Intel has the Atom wich is its system on a chip, and there are always the low-end Celeron. Also, any PC makers could use AMD to cut costs down too but these devices are going to, I think, be more than $300. So you could say yeah Windows 8 could be hurt by these things, but then you would be forgetting something, Windows RT.
Windows RT is almost exactly like Windows 8 but it runs on ARM chips. These devices will be cheaper than their Intel-based counterparts and I could see someone making one for less than $300 maybe even around $200. Honestly, these devices are going to be using almost the same hardware as these low-end tablets. Windows RT will be competing with most tablets out there today.
I could stop here but there is something else to consider. Let’s say Microsoft’s strategy fails, and Windows 8 on a tablet is just not working for consumers. Microsoft still has Windows Phone 8. Microsoft could easily turn this into a tablet operating system if it had to and I still think it would be great. Windows Phone 8 is also based on the Windows 8 code and not the old Windows CE (Windows Mobile) like Windows Phone 7 was, so it would perform great on these devices while having a great feature set. I would say at this point Windows Phone 8 could be Microsoft’s backup plan.
Really though when I look at all this I think these low-end tablets are going to be more harm to the iPad and it’s not just that but Microsoft will have Windows 8 competing with the iPad in the same price points, as well as Windows RT in the lower ones. Really Apple has much to fear I think in the next coming months.