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Microsoft's executives have said there's essentially zero chance of seeing a Windows Phone 7 tablet.  (Source: Umang)

Windows Phone 7's "Metro" tiled theme is coming to Windows 8, though, which will be Microsoft's tablet OS of choice.  (Source: Microsoft)
Company is determined to push Windows 8 as the tablet solution of choice

Those hoping to see the slick tile-based Windows Phone 7 (WP7) mobile operating system grace tablets someday seem condemned to eternal disappointment.   Windows Phone president Andy Lees shot down the suggestion once more, speaking at Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) Worldwide Partners Conference in Los Angeles, California.

"We view a tablet as a PC", Mr. Lee states.  He complains that using WP7 -- a mobile operating system -- on a tablet PC would be "in conflict" with Microsoft's vision.  

Microsoft's decision to stick to its guns in the face of user demand has drawn criticism from some.  They point out that Microsoft was pushing tablets as PCs five years ago, and controlled virtually all of the small tablet niche market.  With the iPad and the explosion in popularity it became clear that people didn't necessarily want a full PC in their tablet.  And yet that is exactly what Microsoft -- who now owns roughly a 1 percent share of the tablet market -- hopes to push.

For better or worse, though, the verdict appears final -- Microsoft's tablets will run Windows 8 late next fall, and until then will run Windows 7.

To be fair, Microsoft is making some serious changes to Windows 8 to make it more tablet friendly.  While it isn't putting WP7 on the tablet, it is incorporating WP7's Metro (active tile) theme into Windows 8.  So Windows 8 on the tablet will likely seem like a hybrid of WP7 and Windows 7.

Mike Angiulo, corporate vice president of Windows Planning, Hardware and PC Ecosystem at Microsoft says the goal of Windows 8 is to make the "user experience a natural extension of the device, from the time you turn on your PC through how you interact with the applications you know and love."

To that end Microsoft is working hard to make Windows 8 tablets and laptops easier to control with touch, easier to connect to networks, and easier to print documents wirelessly.  Microsoft is also focusing on converting Windows 8 to run on ARM architecture CPUs, which are dominating the mobile architecture landscape, much to the chagrin of rival x86 architecture chipmaker Intel Corp. (INTC).

While Windows Phone 7 drew generally enthusiastic reviews for its cutting-edge user interface, the phone has experienced little traction in recent months.  It is being grossly outsold by Apple, Inc. (AAPL) whose newest phone is over a year old.  And it's also being outsold by market leader Google Inc. (GOOG) whose plethora of Android smart phones have soared in sales.

Steve Ballmer remarked last week that WP7 sales had gone from "very small to very small."


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RE: i don't get it...
By AmbroseAthan on 7/13/2011 10:16:33 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
is it because WP 7 is ready right now while we still have to wait for windows 8?


It is as you said in your very last sentence. Windows 8 is all shiny and wonderful, but we are a year+ out on the release of the OS. Tablets are the hot commodity right now, so some people are wondering why MS is not working on something to get to market.

Personally I agree with MS delaying tablets until Windows 8 to jump into the game, so they have a more solid product at launch rather than tinkering WP7 into something it was not meant for.


RE: i don't get it...
By ApfDaMan on 7/13/2011 10:50:24 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
so they have a more solid product at launch rather than tinkering WP7 into something it was not meant for.


Agreed. the original samsung android tablet wasnt that great. microsoft wants an outstanding product, not a half arsed one.

I can see the tablet version of windows 8 being very WP7 like in its design but it would be silly to put such an OS on a tablet.


RE: i don't get it...
By B3an on 7/14/2011 12:12:15 AM , Rating: 1
All the Android tablets i've tried are pretty much cr*p, with exception of the Galaxy Tab. And i like Android. But it runs poorly and on tablets and it's still laggy (again Galaxy Tab does a better job here but not perfect), something that has been a MAJOR problem with Android since release is lag. Totally unacceptable. Now it finally has some hardware UI acceleration, but it's only partial and not good enough. WP7 and iOS run far smoother on lower hardware so theres no excuse.

From the builds if Win8 that i've used i've found them to run faster than Win7 on low spec hardware. Infact they easily run as good as XP does on old hardware, which is really impressive. But at the same time they run faster than XP on new hardware as it makes far better use of new tech.
I just think MS should get Win8 out in mid 2012, not the end of it, thats too far away and no matter how good it is it might be too late by then.


RE: i don't get it...
By Wiggy Mcshades on 7/13/2011 11:01:10 AM , Rating: 3
In reality they aren't a hot commodity. The public perception of tablets would have them as hot products flying off the shelves, but within the industry they're sorta flat lining. There's not even been a hand full of professionally made applications for android 3.x, and for a device that lives off of apps that's not a good sign. Things might turn around, but tablets right now could easily share the same fate as netbooks. Tablet shipments may be increasing, but most of the increase is attributed to iOS devices. That doesn't point to a healthy market, it just points to apple being apple.


RE: i don't get it...
By omnicronx on 7/13/2011 12:00:04 PM , Rating: 3
I'm not even an Apple appologist and I just have to laugh at all of these doom and gloom tablet stories.

They keep quoting Q1, which happened right after Christmas (which impacts all tablet makers as this is a common down time for electronics) and was in the lull period where Apple had announced the iPad 2 weeks before it was released.

Notice how even IDC whom first released the quarterly details is still predicting 50+ Million tablets being sold this year? (7.2*4 is ~25 million, that would imply they expect some great quarters going forward, which is most likely backed by grumblings from Apple in which the rumour is that sales have vastly rebounded since Q1)

Android tablet usage has also increased, they now hold around 1/3 of the market and are gaining fast with better tablets being released. So Apple really is no longer the only player in town either.

I would also like to point out that the netbook analogy is terrible when you consider that the tablet market has clearly cannibalized their sales and are at least semi direct competitors.

Thats a hot commodity in my books, at least for consumer electronics that have yet to really enter into the business space. Clearly still a complementary device, but I don't think they are going anywhere, anytime soon..


"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer














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