At the big CES event last week there was lots of tablet and iPad rival talk from numerous vendors. One company we heard very little from though is Microsoft. Nearly all the tablets that got any press coverage at CES run (or will run when released) one version or other of the Android OS; with only very few that I heard of offering some sort of dual-boot scenario with Android and Windows 7.
And honestly, the whole idea of running Windows 7 on a tablet, or any mobile device, is just a loser right from the off in my book. My experience is that even on PCs there has been a great need for many years for a much more lightweight version of Windows – so why on earth would anyone think full-blown Windows is suitable for tablets?
Even MSNBC – the network jointly owned by the software giant – seems to find Microsoft clueless when it comes to the tablet arena. Here are a few telling slices from a recent report on msnbc.com:
Instead of unveiling an elegant response to the iPad, Microsoft came to the tech industry’s premier gadget show with a collection of exposed computer guts, news about microchips and a shallow preview of yet another Windows.
The uninspiring performance served as a reminder that the world’s largest software maker remains years from a serious entry into the tablet craze, raising more doubts about whether Microsoft Corp. will ever be able to grab a meaningful piece of this fast-growing segment. If it can’t, Microsoft Corp.’s dominance of personal computers may become increasingly irrelevant as people embrace ever-sleeker portable devices.
Many analysts and design experts say Windows 7 is doomed to fail as a tablet system because it was created with the keyboard and mouse in mind. At best, said technology industry analyst Rob Enderle, Windows 7 tablets are a stopgap measure while Microsoft pushes ahead on what will likely be called Windows 8.
Pretty bleak stuff considering that back in July of last year Microsoft’s CEO, Steve Ballmer, was expressing concern about the success of the iPad and saying that this was an area where Microsoft needed to make things happen.
This is another mobile space that Microsoft was in long before Apple, but have managed to make just about no headway in, and certainly another (alongside the smartphone space) where they appear to have no answers for what Apple is doing.