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HP, Dell Avoiding Android Tablet Price War with Windows 8

By - Source: DigiTimes | B 20 comments

HP and Dell are reportedly eying Windows 8 as the platform of choice to stay out of the fiercely-competitive Android market. Meanwhile, Motorola quietly launches a XOOM "family edition" tablet exclusively at Best Buy.

Unnamed industry sources report that both HP and Dell are planning to re-enter the tablet market using Microsoft's upcoming Windows 8 operating system. These devices are expected to launch during Q3 2012, possibly even during the back-to-school season in late August to early September.

HP's reason for using Windows 8 is fairly obvious. The company clearly stated just last month that although it discontinued producing tablets with Palm's webOS platform, it had no intentions to back out of the tablet sector. But its reasoning in not focusing on the highly-popular Android "Honeycomb" OS may simply be due to market saturation.

According to the sources, not only has Amazon triggered a pricing war with the launch of its Kindle Fire Android-based tablet, but has also pushed tablet vendors into seeking out alternative platforms in order to stay out of the fierce competition. Sources even point to Motorola's XOOM Family Edition tablet now sold exclusively through Best Buy as a fierce contender, a 10.1-inch tablet with 16 GB of internal storage for just $379 USD.

Motorola revealed the Best Buy exclusive on Friday, a kid-friendly Android 3.1-powered tablet packed with $40 worth of software including the award-winning Kid Mode app by Zoodles that helps kids have fun learning while keeping the device (and their eyes) safe. The tablet also includes Motorola's own MotoPack, QuickOffice Pro HD and MotoPrint for when the kids go to bed and the parents need to catch up on work.

"Tablets continue to generate excitement and we are thrilled to be able to offer the Motorola XOOM Family Edition to Best Buy customers," said Scott Wallace, senior director of tablet merchandising at Best Buy. "We think these devices are great for kids and families, and offer something for everyone. At Best Buy, we've long stood for choice and are delighted that the new XOOM Family Edition will be part of our selection."

As for system specs, the tablet sports a dual-core Tegra 2 SoC clocked at 1 GHz, a 10.1-inch HS IPS HD screen (1280 x 800), a 5MP rear-facing camera with a built-in flash, a front -facing 1.3MP video webcam, 16 GB of internal storage, 1 GB of RAM, a microSD card slot for expanding up to 32 GB of extra storage, GPS, Bluetooth, 802.11 b/g/n connectivity, a battery life of up to 10 hours, HDMI output and more.

Industry sources say that, despite HP and Dell looking at Windows 8 as an alternative tablet OS, Asus and Acer plan to continue to offer Android devices. Lenovo will also use Android, but for its business-use ThinkPad tablets. Dell will reportedly use Windows 8 as the platform for its own business-related tablet offerings.

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  • 1 Hide
    Yuka , October 18, 2011 1:15 AM
    Considering a Tablet won't have enough power to be a laptop for "productivity" apps or a gaming-on-the-go device of choice or even have x86 applications to run from regular Windows versions, I don't see why Dell or HP would think that having Win8 in their tablets will help them whatsoever in the Tablet war...

    Just make the better product and you'll make money. If Apple has one thing right, is that particular philosophy of focusing on the "important". And at least, so far, Asus caught it quite right for the Android world.

    Cheers!
  • 0 Hide
    phatboe , October 18, 2011 1:21 AM
    HP and Dell are delusional if they believe that the market for Windows 8 tablets won't be saturated once Windows 8 is released.
  • 1 Hide
    stm1185 , October 18, 2011 1:46 AM
    YukaConsidering a Tablet won't have enough power to be a laptop for "productivity" apps or a gaming-on-the-go device of choice or even have x86 applications to run from regular Windows versions, I don't see why Dell or HP would think that having Win8 in their tablets will help them whatsoever in the Tablet war...Just make the better product and you'll make money. If Apple has one thing right, is that particular philosophy of focusing on the "important". And at least, so far, Asus caught it quite right for the Android world.Cheers!


    Maybe Intel will come up with a way to make super efficient 22nm chips that allows x86 to be competitive on battery life and form factor while remaining relatively powerful? Oh wait...
  • Display all 20 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    chillmelt , October 18, 2011 1:52 AM
    This is good. We know that the Windows platform is the platform for business and productivity. Of course, the main question in most people's minds is the battery life. Hopefully Microsoft can sway consumers into the right mindset.
  • 1 Hide
    chillmelt , October 18, 2011 1:54 AM
    stm1185Maybe Intel will come up with a way to make super efficient 22nm chips that allows x86 to be competitive on battery life and form factor while remaining relatively powerful? Oh wait...


    It will be just as saturated as the laptop market... It's Windows after all. But how is that bad for us consumers? More competition means better prices, tablets will be constantly on sale.
  • 1 Hide
    de5_Roy , October 18, 2011 2:14 AM
    awww.. dell and hp looking for a new platform to overprice sell their product. i hope they learn from their android tablets and make tablet that survives sells well. i understand why they'd want to stay away from android - because andy tablets are getting cheaper. and microsoft's win 8 isnt free.
    win 8 looks more promising as a tablet and tablet pc os but i'm worried about how much price it will add to the final price.
    more competition and more os choices are always welcome since they drive innovation and lower prices.
    and a decent tablet pc is long overdue.
    on another note: dell streak rules! xoom sucks! :p 
  • 1 Hide
    southernshark , October 18, 2011 2:23 AM
    I doubt the issue is saturation as much as choice of OS. Why invest in the Android label and OS if you plan on jumping ship to Windows 8?

    Consider that Microsoft has reached licensing agreements with several Android manufacturers due to patent infringement. Also consider that they may simply see Windows as a more reliable choice for long term development and support. Google seems to start things and stop things pretty randomly.
  • 0 Hide
    jdwii , October 18, 2011 2:27 AM
    de5_royawww.. dell and hp looking for a new platform to overprice sell their product. i hope they learn from their android tablets and make tablet that survives sells well. i understand why they'd want to stay away from android - because andy tablets are getting cheaper. and microsoft's win 8 isnt free.win 8 looks more promising as a tablet and tablet pc os but i'm worried about how much price it will add to the final price.more competition and more os choices are always welcome since they drive innovation and lower prices. and a decent tablet pc is long overdue.on another note: dell streak rules! xoom sucks!



    I'd say this is true anything with Windows on it adds the price of the tablet by around 50$ by its self. They should offer to versions one with Google and one with W8.
  • 0 Hide
    otacon72 , October 18, 2011 2:29 AM
    YukaConsidering a Tablet won't have enough power to be a laptop for "productivity" apps or a gaming-on-the-go device of choice or even have x86 applications to run from regular Windows versions, I don't see why Dell or HP would think that having Win8 in their tablets will help them whatsoever in the Tablet war...Just make the better product and you'll make money. If Apple has one thing right, is that particular philosophy of focusing on the "important". And at least, so far, Asus caught it quite right for the Android world.Cheers!


    Seriously? Guess you haven't heard of intel ultra low voltage processors then. Android tablets are done once W8 Tablets come out.
  • 1 Hide
    Inferno1217 , October 18, 2011 2:30 AM
    Cool.....Windows 8 + more dumb users not protecting their hardware= more virus removal & money to be made. Not to say other OS's will be attacked any less. Still love Windows 7
  • 0 Hide
    alikum , October 18, 2011 2:46 AM
    YukaConsidering a Tablet won't have enough power to be a laptop for "productivity" apps or a gaming-on-the-go device of choice or even have x86 applications to run from regular Windows versions, I don't see why Dell or HP would think that having Win8 in their tablets will help them whatsoever in the Tablet war...Just make the better product and you'll make money. If Apple has one thing right, is that particular philosophy of focusing on the "important". And at least, so far, Asus caught it quite right for the Android world.Cheers!

    Native x86 applications CAN RUN on Windows 8 tablet if they are built on top of .NET Framework. Get your facts right.
  • 0 Hide
    captaincharisma , October 18, 2011 4:09 AM
    great HP is making another tablet. so i guess when it comes out i just have to wait a few weeks till they have another fire sale.
  • 0 Hide
    findcoop , October 18, 2011 4:10 AM
    Anything written to Win32, HTML/JS, or .NET prior to Win8 will NOT run on ARM. Apps have to be ported to the new Win8 API, and the ones that have been ported will run on either x86_64 or ARM. Existing apps will most likely not work on Win8 ARM. For x86 platforms, apps that run on 7 should work the same on 8, save the new Metro, .NET being only one of 3 APIs that the app could work on.
  • 0 Hide
    eddieroolz , October 18, 2011 4:58 AM
    Heck I'd consider a tablet if it was running Windows 8, and possibly have detachable keyboard dock like the EeePad transformer.
  • 0 Hide
    Zingam , October 18, 2011 10:30 AM
    Windows 8 price war! Yeah!

    Who the hell does want assslow Windows tablet?
  • 0 Hide
    back_by_demand , October 18, 2011 12:47 PM
    ZingamWindows 8 price war! Yeah!Who the hell does want assslow Windows tablet?

    Windows 8 will use roughly the same resources as Windows XP and I now have a phone that is more powerful than the PC I had when XP first came out
    ...
    I think the myth of slow MS needs to fade away
  • 0 Hide
    Yuka , October 18, 2011 12:57 PM
    alikumNative x86 applications CAN RUN on Windows 8 tablet if they are built on top of .NET Framework. Get your facts right.


    On top of an ARM processor? Does Intel or AMD has a tablet x86 chip ready for Dell and HP to slap Win8 on top of it? I haven't heard anything of the like, so...

    Cheers!
  • 0 Hide
    back_by_demand , October 18, 2011 1:05 PM
    YukaOn top of an ARM processor? Does Intel or AMD has a tablet x86 chip ready for Dell and HP to slap Win8 on top of it? I haven't heard anything of the like, so...Cheers!

    Intel and AMD will have tablet chips when Windows 8 launches, have faith, as far as ARM and X86 goes, the best scenario would be AMD and ARM having a merger - that would be fantastic for the consumer.
  • 0 Hide
    mcd023 , October 18, 2011 4:36 PM
    I do recall MS saying that their goal is to make apps btwn the phone and win8 as seemless as possible (even more so that iPhone and iPad). So I do think that apps written for the phone will be able to run on the table.
  • 0 Hide
    randomstar , October 18, 2011 9:34 PM
    Ok, Acer makes one that gets it done already.. W500.
    it works very well, full laptop specs, and its a TABLET. (funny thing is, its cheaper than a lot of the android / iOS equals.. and yes I bought one and can say that it does what they say it does. win 8 absolutely flies on it and I have to give up nothing to have it.
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