In a move that’s sure to upset some third-party app developers, Microsoft is planning to launch official Remote Desktop apps for Android and iOS later this month. Like the Remote Desktop solutions for Windows and OS X, the apps will allow you to connect to your PC and control it remotely from your smartphone and tablet.
For a long time after its launch, the iPad was by far the best-selling tablet on the market, and no matter how hard they tried, rival devices didn’t stand a chance of stealing its market share. But that’s all changed, according to the latest figures from IDC.
Android-powered slates saw a staggering 163% increase in the last year, and they’ve now overtaken the iPad and opened up a rather large gap in market share.
When Microsoft launched the Surface with Windows RT, it was supposed to be the answer to all of their iPad problems. It runs on cellphone chips, yet still looks like regular Windows 8. It’s supposed to be awesome. But sales of Windows RT tablets haven’t been strong, and now Samsung is saying that they’re second guessing the platform.
In a recent interview at CES, Make Abary, Samsung’s senior vice president who oversees the company’s tablet business, said that Samsung has decided they won’t launch their Windows RT tablet in the U.S. after discovering there’s not much demand for them.
There’s been plenty of debate over whether or not Microsoft will ever bring its Office productivity suite to Android and iOS devices. Many reports have claimed it will, while Microsoft itself has denied the rumors. But now product manager Petr Bobek has confirmed that it will happen next year.
The iPad became a big hit in the K-12 education market over the past year. Pioneering schools that brought Apple’s tablet into the classroom last school year proved that the iPad can be a excellent learning tool – one that has immense power to transform education.
As the new school year begins, and hundreds of thousands of students across the U.S. become iPad users thanks to one-to-one iPad deployments, there’s already talk that the iPad’s success in schools will be short-lived. The belief is that iPads will quickly be replaced by tablets running Microsoft’s Windows RT or Windows 8.
Microsoft has positioned its Windows RT tablet OS as an iPad competitor, particularly in business and enterprise markets. Windows RT devices, which includes the ARM-based version of Microsoft’s Surface, are designed to be less expensive than Intel-powered Windows 8 tablets and are meant to push the new touch-oriented Metro interface.
Microsoft has even gone so far as to introduce special licensing terms for businesses that will offer free access to a virtual desktop from Windows RT devices while other platforms, including the iPad, will need to buy a new type of license for such access.
Windows RT would seem a perfect choice for businesses that want to support mobile employees with a tablet, except that Windows RT seems keep hitting one wall after another – the latest being that two of Microsoft’s longstanding OEM partners have decided to pass on creating Windows RT tablets.
Apple continues to top PC sales thanks to the iPad. Meanwhile, according to research firm Canalys, Microsoft will likely need to heavily subsidize the price of touch-first PCs and tablets if it wants Windows 8 to be anything like a success.
Echoing Tim Cook’s about Microsoft’s Windows 8 strategy being like converging a toaster and a refrigerator, the research firm notes that Microsoft’s approach could jeopardize the Windows 8 launch. Canalys notes that the big issue is that most Windows 8 features are designed for touchscreen use. That means that existing PC owners won’t get the full value or experience that Windows 8 offers unless they upgrade their hardware to a tablet, touchscreen notebook, or a hybrid device that functions as both.
As has been discussed in the past, the general consensus among those in the tech industry seems to be that the only way to compete with the iPad is to make your product cheaper than it.
This was moderately successful for devices such as the Kindle Fire, which sold in respectable numbers, but fell off after a short amount of time, even though it retailed for only $199. If history is anything to base expectations off of, the Microsoft Surface may be in trouble. The Next Web is reporting today that Microsoft’s entry into the tablet market may cost considerably more than the iPad.