Is consumer interest in Windows tablets waning?

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A couple of months ago there was a report that 42% of US consumers wanted a Windows based tablets but now it seems that the interest may be dropping off.  ZDnet are reporting in the last six months interest in Windows tablets has dropped to 25% and that Forrester Research say “Microsoft has missed the peak of consumer desire for a product they haven’t yet released,”

iPad’s are selling by the bucket load, Amazon’s Kindle Fire is doing well in the US and in mean time Microsoft don’t really have anything to offer on the tablet front. Yes there are tablets like Acer’s Iconia Tab but Windows 7 is not designed for touch. The question is by the time Windows 8 tablets come out will it be to late or will there be a pent up demand for them?

These market dynamics are rapidly altering consumers’ attitudes and needs. Most significantly, consumers’ interest in Windows tablets is plummeting. In Q1 2011, Windows was by far the top choice of consumers — while no touch-first Windows tablets existed, 46% of U.S. consumers yearned for one. By Q3 2011, that picture had changed dramatically: Windows was no longer No. 1 in choice preference, and interest among consumers dropped to 25%. Microsoft has missed the peak of consumer desire for a product they haven’t yet released.

For product strategists, Windows 8 tablets provide a cautionary tale: To be a fast-follower, you must amp up the experience — and do so quickly, before the market changes beyond recognition. Windows 8 tablets must provide consumers with a more differentiated product experience than it otherwise would have, had Microsoft entered the market sooner. They’ll have to take a lesson from Amazon’s product strategists, who fundamentally changed the tablet product experience by leading with content and services rather than feeds and speeds, at a compelling price point. In the rapidly evolving tablet market, Amazon — and Barnes & Noble, with its Nook Tablet — demonstrate fast following done right.

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