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Consumer interest in Windows 8 tablets slumps

Too late to market?

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Punters appear to be turning away from the Windows 8 tablets Microsoft hopes will get it back into the fondleslab game.

Back in January, Forrester Research, a market watcher, asked consumers which tablets they favoured. Some 46 per cent said they'd prefer a Windows device.

Asking the same question afresh later in the year, Forrester found that only 25 per cent of punters picked out Windows tablets in Q3.

Windows 8-based tablets aren't expected to become available to by until mid to late 2012. How far much further will interest in Windows tablets have fallen by then?

Yes, Nokia may be keen on Windows 8, and is developing a tablet based on the new Microsoft OS, but by the time it ships, Apple will have a third-generation iPad out - quite possibly with a 2048 x 1536 display and a quad-core processor - and updated Android tablets running Ice Cream Sandwich and definitely sporting five-core CPUs - Nvidia's Tegra 3, to be precise - will be out.

All that hardware tech will be available to makers of Windows 8 tabs, of course, but they'll be pitching against well-established tablet brands.

Forrester's figures get some corroboration from forecasts made by DisplaySearch in October. DisplaySearch reckons even by 2017, Windows 8 will account for just 8.8 per cent of the market - though that's still 25m units.

That sounds a lot, until you realise Apple is forecast to ship more than 187m iPads, and Android allies some 108m more. ®

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