With dismal Surface sales, and the Surface Pro getting a pounding from reviewers, there hasn't been much good tablet news for Microsoft. But there may well be hope: A Forrester report says that 200 million information workers would prefer a Windows tablet over any competitor's for their next work tablet.
First the bad news: Windows tablet and Microsoft Surface sales are dismal. A new Canalys report finds that "only 3% of pads shipped in Q4 2012 used a Microsoft operating system." The report found:
"The software giant's entry into the PC hardware market was something of a non-event. High pricing, poor channel strategy and a lack of clarity regarding its RT operating system led to shipments of just over 720,000 units."
Tim Coulling, Canalys Senior Analyst said:
"The outlook for Windows RT appears bleak. Hardware OEMs are ignoring it due, in part, to a pricing strategy that does not align with the economics of the pad market. We expect Microsoft to rethink its pricing strategy for RT in the coming weeks. Dropping the price by 60% should get OEMs back onside."
The new Forrester report titled "2013 Mobile Workforce Adoption Trends" holds out hope for Microsoft, though. It found that when it comes to what type of tablet information workers want for their next tablet at work, Microsoft is at the top of the heap. Some 32% want a Windows tablet, compared to 26% for an Apple tablet, and 12% for Android. In all, the report says, some 200 million information workers worldwide would opt for a Windows tablet as their next work tablet.
Given the sometimes brutal reviews given to the just-released Surface Pro, it's not clear whether that number will hold. Still, it shows that for now, Microsoft leads in capturing the hearts and minds of information workers looking for their next tablet. And that's a rare bright spot for Microsoft in the tablet market.