Microsoft and Intel along with their Taiwan based manufacturers are placing a huge bet on Windows 8, which is to be launched by the end of this year. The industry is also witnessing rising tensions in the relationship between these companies.
While the Metro interface will now be available on laptops, desktop and tablets, Microsoft is also betting big on Windows Phone to compete with Android and iOS. However, Intel, Microsoft’s partner in developing personal computers, has seen a shift in its position in the market as people are increasingly opting for mobile devices. Microsoft has also piled on the pressure on Intel by choosing ARM as a platform for Windows 8, as its power efficient chips are better suited for tablets running on the Windows 8 platform.
Similarly, manufacturers are having a tough time trying to fit in Microsoft’s new operating system and Intel’s designs to make products that fetch profits. Analysts predict the possibility of a complete overhaul of the mobile industry, with tablets entirely taking over the PC and laptop sector. While the shipment of PCs is expected to rise only by 4.4 percent, shipment of tablets may rise by 85 percent this year. Going by reports, Apple’s tablets clearly have higher potential for sale than those manufactured by Microsoft.
Microsoft is looking at developing its market for traditional computers as well as tablets. Intel is working on developing its chip business while focusing on data processing as well as power consumption, constantly coming up with features that will help enhance the products they manufacture. However, internal conflicts between Microsoft and its OEMs are rising. Intel wants OEMs to add features to its new Ultrabook line to help differentiate it from the MacBook quality wise, which has been reflected in higher prices. Despite all its efforts, Intel’s products have failed to showcase uniform levels of quality at the Computex show.
Microsoft isn’t making things easier for OEMs either, as it intends on charging $100 for every Windows 8 license, while manufacturers can use Google’s operating system free of cost. Manufacturers are hoping Microsoft will cut down on the license fee post negotiation. Intel, of course, has an obvious stake in the PC segment and wants Microsoft to help reduce prices, since most of the R&D on processors is undertaken by Intel itself.
Manufacturers can only hope Microsoft will be successful developing and promoting an ecosystem complete with a large number of app developers in Windows 8, like Amazon, Apple and Google already have. A lot will depend on the way Microsoft plans to market their products to consumers already quite enamored by the iPad and to a lesser extent, Android tablets.