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After the spectacular failure of Windows 8 it was largely Microsoft’s successful Surface range which kept the Windows tablet dream alive.
Over the last 2 years however this has rapidly been changing, with Windows 10 tablets rapidly gaining market share, even while Microsoft’s Surface shipments have largely stagnated.
This may be due to Microsoft generously sharing their technology and designs with OEMs, but whatever the reasons, the trend has not escaped Samsung’s attention.
At Mobile World Congress 2017 the consumer giant announced 3 tablets, two of them running Windows.
Eric McCarty, vice president of mobile product marketing for Samsung Electronics America, says we can expect this ratio to continue going forward.
According to McCarthy Samsung assumes that 60 percent of the detachable 2-in-1 market will run Windows, and that there is an opportunity for 140 percent year-over-year growth.
The growth is driven by a bigger need for productivity on the go, a need Samsung intended to serve with their Galaxy Book devices which are targeted at office workers.
Jeff Meredith, vice president and general manager for the Android and Chrome Computing Business Group at Lenovo agreed that tablets needed to become more useful.
“We’re facing a product that needs to redefine itself in an environment in which its core advantages are being squeezed in from 2-in-1s and phablets,” Meredith said.
At MWC 17 Lenovo launched two Tab 4 Android tablets, but led their announcements with three Windows 2-in-1 tablets, the Miix 320 and Yoga 720 and 520.
Lenovo was also offering some of their devices, such as the innovative Yoga Book, in both Windows and Android.
While Windows 10 is becoming a better and better productivity platform, it is not clear that it is a great tablet OS yet, with the browser for example still lacking when it comes to finger friendliness, and pen interaction with the OS still an afterthought. If this trend is to be sustained Microsoft needs to walk the thin line between an OS for both consumption and for creation. Hopefully future versions of Windows 10 will manage this balance better than Windows 8 or Windows 10 does.