Apple may have popularized the tablet genre with its first generation iPad back in 2010, but in 2013 workers want Windows—at least that’s what the researchers at Forrester are saying. A new report from the firm has found that 200 million information workers would prefer to purchase a Windows tablet than an iPad.
This number represents quite a jump from projected sales of Microsoft’s Surface RT tablet in Q4 2012, which are likely to max out at just under the one million mark according to the IDC. However, the Surface RT runs Windows RT, which doesn't support desktop applications.
Of the 9,766 IT workers polled, only 2 percent currently own a Windows tablet but 32 percent said they would buy one. Surprisingly, only 26 percent of participants voted that they would purchase Apple’s slate while 12 percent said they wanted an Android-based tablet.
More importantly, if Forrester’s report proves to be accurate, Microsoft may have found its niche audience in the enterprise market. This means the PC software maker could be seeing a much more lucrative launch with its second self-branded tablet, the Surface Pro, which hits stores this month. Unlike the Surface for Windows RT, the Pro model comes with the full version of Windows 8 and Intel’s Core i5 Ivy Bridge processor, making it a more optimal laptop replacement for workers.
While Microsoft is projected to see some success in the mobile industry, BlackBerry may be in trouble. The study referred to Blackberry’s mobile operating system as a “fading presence” in the industry, despite its stark redesign and rebranding with BlackBerry 10.
The report also concludes that, to no surprise, Microsoft and Apple will continue to contend with one another for the workforce’s attention. Windows 8 endured some skepticism following its launch, but Microsoft Chief Marketing Officer Tami Reller recently said that sales of Microsoft’s new software are faring better than some may have expected. The Microsoft executive also revealed that 60 million Windows 8 licenses have been sold so far, which is on par with the number of Windows 7 licenses sold in the same time frame.