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TABLET OPERATING SYSTEMS: Which one is right for you?

A tablet's operating system is a big factor in determining which one is the best fit for your needs. See the table and bullets below to compare key features and see highlights of each operating system.

Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich

Android Ice Cream Sandwich
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

Android Jelly Bean
Windows 7

Windows 7
Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro and Windows RT

Windows 8
Smartphone Sync Yes Yes Yes Yes
Multitasking Yes Yes Yes Yes
Adobe Flash support Yes No Yes Yes
Skype Yes Yes No Yes
Facebook Chat Yes Yes Yes Yes
Official Application Store Google Play Google Play None Windows Store

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Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich

  • Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich-ready tablets include the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2
  • An entirely new typeface optimized for high-resolution screens to improve readability and bring a polished, modern feel to the user interface
  • Customizable home screens and resizable widgets
  • Home screen organized into folders and favorites to group together your favorite apps and shortcuts
  • Facial recognition technology enables users to unlock their tablet just by looking into the front-facing camera
  • Download free and paid apps from Google Play

Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

  • Android Jelly Bean-ready tablets include the Acer Iconia Tab A110
  • Fastest and smoothest version of Android yet
  • Improved performance, CPU and memory efficiency
  • New Google Search experience and new Google Now feature that displays timely information throughout the day
  • Download free and paid apps from Google Play

Windows 7

  • Windows 7 tablets include the Viewsonic View PAD
  • Broad software and hardware compatibility
  • Syncing with a home computer allows quick access to saved Microsoft Office material, including Word documents and Excel spreadsheets

Windows 8

  • Windows 8 tablets include the Samsung ATIV Smart PC 500T
  • Fluid, intuitive, easy-to-use interface design that you can easily customize
  • Designed for touch screens, mouse and keyboard
  • Works with both existing desktop software and apps that you download from the Windows Store
  • Windows 8 tablets powered by Intel® Atom™ processors

Windows 8 Pro

  • Provides all of the great benefits of Windows 8, as well as enhanced corporate and school networking and data encryption features

Windows RT

  • Windows RT tablets include the Surface with Windows RT
  • Optimized for thin and light tablets that have extended battery life
  • Fluid, intuitive, easy-to-use interface design that you can easily customize
  • Runs built-in apps including Mail, Calendar, Messaging, Photos and SkyDrive plus other apps downloaded from Windows Store
  • Comes with Office Home & Student 2013 RT Preview preinstalled