Although Apple's iOS first showed up on the iPhone in 2007, it was
easily adapted to the larger iPad that launched in 2010.
Google is now starting to gain some traction with Android 3.0 “Honeycomb” -- it was
designed from the beginning for tablets. Likewise, HP/Palm
and RIM are using mobile, touch-optimized operating systems for their
And where does leave Microsoft? For now, Microsoft is being
left behind as its competitors continue to move forward at a lightning fast
pace. Even though the company has a stellar basis for a tablet OS with Windows
Phone 7, Microsoft exec Ashley Highfield says that the time just isn't right
yet to jump into the fray.
"We won't do anything in the tablet market unless we
can be distinctive," Highfield told
For now, Microsoft is pushing Windows 7 as its
"tablet" operating system of choice. In fact, Highfield notes that he
uses Dell's poorly
received Inspiron Duo for tablet duties.
Windows 8 will support
ARM processors that are so prevalent in today's iPads,
Xooms, and PlayBooks,
but such a fully featured operating system is still a bit of overkill for a
7" to 10.1", touch-dominated device.