Forrester: One-third of information workers prefer a Windows OS for their next tablet
Close to one-third of information workers said they would prefer to use a Windows-based operating system for their next tablet, well above the 26 percent who chose iOS, according to a survey of 9,766 information workers by Forrester Research.
A full 20 percent of information workers said they prefer Windows 8, while another 12 percent said they prefer Windows 7 or other Windows OSs. Google's (NASDAQ: GOOG) Android OS garnered 11 percent support, while Research in Motion's (NASDAQ: RIMM) BlackBerry PlayBook was only preferred by 1 percent of employees, a reflection of BlackBerry's dramatic decline in the enterprise marketplace.
This is a surprising result, given that the BYOD phenomenon has been fueled primarily by employees bringing their the iPhones and iPads to work. Windows currently has only a 2.4 percent share of the mobile OS market, according to the latest Gartner stats .
Despite the survey results, Forrester senior analyst David Johnson believes there are some stumbling blocks to Windows 8 adoption by BYOD business consumers.
First, Johnson warned that there could be consumer confusion between Windows 8 and Windows RT, which are both operating systems for Windows mobile devices. Windows RT runs on an ARM chip, while Windows 8 runs on an Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) multicore processor; this difference gives rise to app compatibility issues for the two operating systems. The two OSs are barely distinguishable visually, so buyers may not realize that many of their apps will not be compatible with the Windows RT-based Surface tablet.
In addition, Johnson noted that the Windows App Store only has 10,000 apps for Windows 8 and only 4,000 for Windows RT, while the Apple App Store has 275,000 apps for iOS devices. "This will temper consumer and BYOD demand for Windows tablets until the Microsoft developer ecosystem can catch up," he wrote.
Power could also be an issue for the Windows 8 tablets because the Intel chip-based hardware is a drain on the battery and typically requires a fan. While the Windows RT does not have these power issues, it also has limited app compatibility.
These drawbacks have not dampened employee enthusiasm for Windows 8-based mobile devices, as the survey results indicate. Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) is counting on the similarity between Windows 8 based PC and Windows 8 based mobile devices to capture some of the BYOD market share now held by iOS and Android.