Mixed Reviews for Windows 8 on Tablets

We, and many others on the web, have talked about the possibility of the Microsoft tablet and Windows 8/RT running Office 2013 finally being the one to take down the iPad - in the Enterprise at least. So it was very interesting to see the headline from InfoWorld: “Why Windows 8 tablets won't threaten the iPad (or Android)”.

The lengthy article discusses the downfall of Window RT on an Intel based device that supports both the new Metro and the old Windows 7 Desktop. The Surface obviously isn’t available yet so Microsoft sent InfoWorld a Samsung tablet loaded with Windows 8 and Office 2013 from Microsoft for their review.

Galen Gruman, the reviewer, set about to see if a tablet running Windows 8 and Office 2013 could really work well. What did he decide? It doesn’t.

Office 2013 is promising he says, but Windows 8 ruins any chance of it taking over the tablet market. He refers to it as “A tablet UI that’s hard to touch”. Not what Microsoft and tablet users anxious to get Office wanted to hear.

But then there’s Matt Rosoff from Business Insider. His conclusion? The title of the review says it all: “Windows 8 Is For Touch Screens. Period.” He admits that Windows 8 on a desktop is clunky referring to it as “an exercise in frustration”. But on the tablet he’s hopeful about the possibilities. And Office 2013 on the tablet is the real selling point. He reports that using Excel was actually faster and easier on the tablet than on the desktop.

So which is it? Can a Windows 8 tablet with Office have a chance at killing the iPad’s dominance? Given the mixed reviews, we’d have to say it still has a chance. But both reviewers point out quite a bit that Microsoft still needs to do to perfect the Windows 8/Office 2013 experience.

Microsoft announced October 26th, 2012 as the launch for Windows 8. Will there be time to tweak the interface to address problems many reviewers are pointing out? If not, will Apple and Google seize the opportunity to improve and launch Office-app killers of their own?