Intel Hopes Windows 10 Will Kill ‘Lightweight’ Tablets

At the IFA technology show in Berlin, Intel unveiled it’s 6th generation chip range for Windows 10. Wired reported that the company hoped it would be a “tablet killer”.

Digging deeper into their announcement, it appears they were referring to the current market-leading “lightweight” tablets, which are highly functional, but less powerful than traditional, “full PCs” running Windows 10 (or older versions).

Windows 10 will be powered by the new chipset on a range of tablet devices that are designed, like the Surface Pro, to be a full laptop replacement, rather than taking the more consumption-based role of leading tablets such as the iPad and Note.

Tablets running the full Windows 10 experience benefit from increased power, and the full range of applications businesses and PC users are used to on their desktops and laptops. Windows 10, on older devices, has a significant disadvantage over the iPad, however, as Apple’s tablet runs the lightweight iOS, which is capable, fast, and delivers exceptional battery life in conjunction with more lightweight system specs when compared to their top-of-the-line laptops.

The advantage of Windows 10 is further eroded, as I discussed last week, by the fact that the iPad will be able to run a lot of productivity apps, such as Office and Photoshop, and do so more than capably for most users’ requirements. Apple is also encroaching on the laptop replacement game, where Windows 10 and Intel hope to dominate, with the iPad Pro. With the introduction of the iPad Pro, it is no longer just Windows 10 users benefiting from a native keyboard case and stylus, along with a big screen for productivity.

Intel may have won Microsoft over, and be bringing significant power to Windows 10 users with its new range, which The Verge reports was designed with Windows 10 in mind, but if Apple can make a market for lightweight operating systems on full-sized laptop replacements, the case for needing Windows 10, and all the power that it requires is diminished. With that said, Windows 10 will benefit, through the new chips, from significant battery life improvement, performance reported to be double current leading tablets, and near-instant boot times. Some of those make Windows 10 appealing to users as they are traditional areas tablets have outperformed small, portable PCs.

CIO reported that some users were disappointed that Apple didn’t copy the Surface and Windows 10 strategy, where full Windows 10 is offered on a dual-purpose device. In reality we’ll see what functionality users actually need in their “laptop replacement” sized tablets with this divergence between iOS and Windows 10 being offered and that will to some extend impact Intel’s strategy.

Hoping that users want more power, and therefore Windows 10 and Intel powered tablets, is one thing. Windows 10 and the Surface outselling the iPad Pro in the long term is another issue entirely, and only time will tell.

[Photo courtesy of Intel Newsroom]