Microsoft faces ‘significant challenges’ in the tablet market, say analysts

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High licence fees for Windows 8 OS coupled with a lack of apps means Microsoft will struggle to be a major tablet market player 

Microsoft will struggle to become a major player in the tablet market until at least 2014, analysts have said.

CCS Insight forecasts Apple will continue to grow the volume of tablets it ships, but will see its market share fall due to competition from Amazon and Google.

Android tablets will capture the mid- to low-tier in developed markets and a significant share in emerging markets, the firm said.

Microsoft’s future is less certain, as the company faces “significant challenges” with its new operating system Windows 8.

CCS said currently licence fees for the software make it hard for manufacturers to make a reasonable margin on tablets.

The availability and quality of apps for Windows 8 was also cited by the firm as a obstacle to it succeeding.

“Microsoft must urgently address this “app gap” if it wants its tablets to succeed.

“Optimising Microsoft Office for tablets is also imperative. Until this is resolved Microsoft will remain on the back foot,” CCS said.

Director of forecasting Marina Koytcheva said: “Since June last year, we’ve seen faster tablet adoption than we had expected in some emerging markets such as China, as the prices fell rapidly. We now expect 181 million tablets to be sold worldwide in 2013, and have uplifted our forecast until 2017.”

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