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Why Windows 8 hybrids won’t survive the test of history

Loyd Case | Sept. 11, 2012
Hybrids sound appealing on paper-who wouldn't want a tablet that can turn into a laptop, and vice versa?-but don't get too comfy with this oddball product category.

Mainelli also suggests that increased tablet adoption could trigger renewed interests in desktops. Users may do most of their mobile work on a tablet, but then return to their desktop system when they require greater performance or when they need to dump large files. Certainly cloud storage will be too pricey for most users to store large volumes of digital media there.

Regardless, I expect that Windows 8 hybrids will prove to be transitional systems-attractive in their own right, but not the final iteration of mobile personal computing. In one sense, they're the ultimate refinement of the original Tablet PC concept. But pure tablet hardware is improving at a rapid rate, and external keyboards are becoming increasingly capable. Given these trends, we may see only a couple of generations of these hybrids before the market moves toward pure tablet alternatives. Full-fledged laptops will remain the optimal solution for a certain class of users; but in the future, the Windows 8 tablet will be the go-to computing device for most.


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