Tablet Is Next for Windows Phone 7

Carl Weinschenk
Slide Show

Seven Issues Making Life Difficult for Windows Phone 7

Can Microsoft over come the odds and make Windows Phone 7 a success?

The emphasis that Microsoft is putting on its Windows 7 initiative-and its importance-became clearer when CEO Steve Ballmer said that the company is preparing a version of the operating system for tablet computers.


I wrote a story that was posted this week-and subsequently turned into a slide show-suggesting that there are a number of inherent challenges to Windows Phone 7, such as a potential dearth of developers and the lack of sway with both device makers and the absence of an end-to-end ecosystem. Of course, this is computers: On any given question, some people take one side, and some the other.


There is no reason things should go more easily in the tablet sector than in the smartphone arena. Essentially, Microsoft will face the same disadvantages and hurdles.


One thing that did come through in the interviews for the feature in a way neutralizes the skepticism. It's not like Microsoft can beg off the initiative. The company has no choice but to go full bore on the mobile initiatives. That doesn't mean just releasing a phone or a tablet there. It means everything. Mobility will continue to grow. Redmond has no choice but to use all of its energy and market power to carve out a space between RIM, Android, Apple and all the others.


NewsFactor quotes IDC analyst Al Hilwa as warning Microsoft that the tablet, if it is too Windows-like, could cannibalize Windows PC sales. I don't fully agree. Of course, a perfect world for Microsoft would be to retain its strength in the PC category while growing in the tablets. But internal cannibalization is a good thing if the assumption is that customers are migrating from the desktop anyway.


It is also important to remember that this is not just Microsoft versus Apple. There are a number of good tablets around, some of which are highlighted at Know Your Mobile. The mobilization of the world continues, and Microsoft continues to prove that it has a tremendous amount of catching up to do.

Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Aug 2, 2010 12:49 PM Ryan Ryan  says:

It seems like Microsoft's innovations are just riding on the coattails of others.  For such a large and intelligent organization, what would it take for Ballmer to learn how to disrupt themselves to be more innovative?


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