Dell expects Windows 8, Android to boost tablet market

The company said early results of Windows 8 on its tablets have been promising

Dell expects both Windows 8 and Android to be credible options for tablet customers next year, and indicated it plans to offer products built around the two operating systems, a company executive said on Wednesday.

Windows 8 is starting to become a real option on tablets, and early results that Dell has seen of Windows 8 on the company's tablets look very promising, said Amit Midha, Dell's president for Greater China and South Asia during a conference call.

Whenever customers have more choice, there is more innovation, rapid adoption, and new usage models, which bode well for Dell and the rest of the industry, Midha said.

Dell did not specify when it plans to launch its Windows 8 tablet, and whether it will run on ARM-based or Intel x86 processors. Windows 8, scheduled for release next year, will run on ARM-based and Intel x86 chips, opening the possibility that Windows will run on a large number of tablets using ARM processors.

Microsoft will likely introduce a tablet-oriented version of its Windows operating system in late 2012 or in 2013 that not only will be better suited to touchscreen applications, but also will allow for content-creation tasks, research firm IHS iSuppli said in February.

Dell launched a 10-inch Android tablet in China in July. Sales of the US$466 Streak 10 Pro are doing better than expected, and the demand in China is sufficient to take up all the production of the device, Midha said. He however declined to comment on when Dell is planning to launch the device in other markets.

Google's proposed acquisition of Motorola Mobility will give Google access to Motorola's patents, and will make Android a much stronger platform, which will help Dell, Midha said. It is not a concern for Dell if Motorola Mobility continues to be run as a separate business, he added.

Dell reported on Tuesday net profit of $890 million for the quarter ended July 29, up 63 percent compared to the same quarter a year ago. Its revenue however grew by only 1 percent to $15.7 billion dragged down by drops in sales of its storage and desktop products.

The company witnessed strong growth in Asia-Pacific and Japan, which is expected to stay high, Midha said. While revenue from India grew 21 percent year-on-year, that from China grew by 20 percent. Growth in the consumer business in the region was 27 percent, while public sector business grew 13 percent. The growth in business from the small and medium business segment was 11 percent, while it was 15 percent from large enterprises, Midha said.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

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