Microsoft's Laptop Advantage Over Apple
3. Simpler to manage and more secure: Applications either come pre-loaded (Microsoft Office) or only from the Microsoft app store. This is just like iOS or, of course, the current Windows Phone 7.5 -- but unlike BlackBerry or Android, where you can side-load apps. And, of course, unlike Windows 7 PCs today, which remains the Wild West in terms of security and managebility.
What are the major drawbacks?
1. No app compatibility with Windows 7 (or 8) based on x86 processors. Intel makes a big deal of this because it is, of course, in its interest for this ARM version of Windows to have zero success. The argument is that "enterprise apps" won't work on this new ARM-based Windows 8.
That's true -- for some. But what if all you need is Microsoft Office plus a browser? Then these new ARM-based PCs would be better for many users, compared with their x86 counterparts, built on Intel and AMD.
2. Gaming and external performance. It is unlikely to rival the larger, more discrete PC systems. But then again, this comparison may be unfair.
3. Outlook. Windows 8 on ARM will have Word, Excel and PowerPoint -- but apparently not Outlook. Are these people serious? This omission sounds a lot like when BlackBerry launched its PlayBook tablet without email. If Outlook is not provided for Windows 8 on ARM, the whole thing looks like sabotage to me. For many users, enterprise in particular, Outlook remains the remaining reason to stick with a non-Google Chromebook PC/laptop platform. If Windows 8 on ARM lacks Outlook, it will remain a toy until it gets it. BlackBerry eventually added email to the PlayBook as well -- after a one-year disaster.
People use Outlook because they have closer to 25,000 contacts than 250, and they need to organize these in an Excel-like format where columns need to be heavily customized for viewing and sorting in specialized manners. Any simpler implementation is a toy, unsuitable for serious contact databases.
That said, what will be the market impact of Windows 8 on ARM? There are two ways of looking at this:
1. Compared with a "regular" x86 Windows 8 laptop: Many users will prefer the ARM version because it will:
(a) Be thinner
(b) Be lighter
(c) Have better battery life
(d) Be more secure and easier to manage
(e) Be cheaper
(f) Have instant-on boot-up
Only people with particular legacy application needs, including gamers, will remain on x86 Windows 8. In addition, the same goes for Outlook users, assuming that issue isn't remedied.