The window of opportunity for Microsoft to come out with a Windows tablet that successfully challenges the iPad is closing, according to a report from Forrester Research to be published Tuesday.
A recent survey by Forrester showed that consumer interest in a tablet computer running Windows has dimmed measurably since the beginning of the year. During the third quarter, 25 percent of consumers surveyed by Forrester said they would most prefer a tablet running Windows, down from 46 percent in the first quarter of the year.
That's bad news for Microsoft, which is working on the first version of its operating system, Windows 8, that is designed from the ground up to take advantage of the touch screens on tablet computers, rather than keyboards and mice. While Microsoft hasn't said when tablets using Windows 8 will ship, most analysts predict they won't land on store shelves before fall of next year.
That leaves nearly another full year of running room for Microsoft's competitors. "Window 8 look like it's going to be a good product," said Forrester analyst J.P. Gownder, who wrote the report with Sarah Rotman Epps. "It's just going to be so late to the market."