Microsoft Windows 8 – Is Microsoft Ready?

John Dvorak is a sage observer of the tech industry from independent confines located somewhere within PC Magazine. He looks at the Microsoft 500-pound gorilla behemoth as too unwieldy to make mistakes, its reserves are too deep and problems can be quickly covered. But he challenges Microsoft’s forthcoming gush into the world of tablets and mobile technology as an avalanche that could end in a painful constipation, forced to run through a small distribution pipe.

Another way is to see the three million Microsoft Windows 8 Surface tablets with which Microsoft plans to flood the market in late fall as the company’s D-Day, trying to clutch a beachhead hold on a landscape already well staked by capable vendors Apple, Google, Samsung and others.

The company has only 30 physical stores, notes Dvorak. It would be virtually impossible for such a small physical footprint to handle the weight of three million tablets without collapsing. This is the reason why Acer cried out a few weeks ago, criticizing Microsoft’s planned entrance into the hardware portion of market with its Surface Tablets. Acer is a power broker in the PC market, number four among the world’s producers. Bloggers have bemoaned the fact that Microsoft will become a  competitor to its own partners.

These include Asus, Dell, Samsung and Lenovo. But they are producing Window 8 and Windows RT devices and have done no more than show cooperation and compliance with the mother ship. They have already begun putting out attractive models.

However, if you listen to Dvorak, the year-end holiday season will certainly be one to remember. Will Microsoft Windows 8 swiftly move into the hearts of millions and affect the tablet market? The Garnett market researchers predict the company will have a 12 percent share of that market by 2016.

Apple had 69 percent of the table market Q2. Samsung was number two with 8 percent, Amazon had third place at 4 percent with its Kindle e-reader. Some argue Apple’s recent billion dollar suit decision over Samsung will move more vendors to support the new Microsoft Windows 8 platforms.

Microsoft  will gain the beachhead this year. Industry pundits predict 1.5 percent by the end of 2012. A lot of the sales will come through online ordering as consumers become familiar with the new Windows Store.

It’s the company’s ecosystem that is being built where it hopes to establish a calculable presence near the Google and Facebook social network clouds. The company is shoring up its SkyDrive cloud offering. Users can establish a profile in Windows Live and use it to access cloud features that  smoothly coordinate content in all their devices.

Microsoft will certainly get some some street creds if it sells Surface RT tablets for $200as has been rumored. The company would then be following Amazon’s strategy – but remaining far behind that company – as it tries to make the Windows Store a viable standard enterprise, loved and assessed by millions and filled with a growing chest of apps. The company would charge for a bundle of new features, certain to raise revenue while shoring up a broad and responsive ecosystem.

The Surface tablets are being positioned to serve as remotes for the popular Xbox 360s. This winning arrangement has potentials of gaining larger market shares. In fact, Microsoft’s success with the Xbox is often forgotten, but it’s certain proof not only of innovative technology skills but of a skillfully managed entrance into the hardware market as well. By March 2012, the company claimed 47 percent of the game console market with 67 million units sold.

Indeed, John Dvorak may be in for a big Christmas surprise.