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Microsoft: No Windows Phone 7 Tablets (Still)

Tuesday Microsoft squashed any hopes that tablets would ever sport the company's new mobile OS, Windows Phone 7. While speaking at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partners Conference, Windows Phone president Andy Lees said that company views tablets as PCs, and that consumers want to do PC-like things on the flattened form factor. That said, the device deserves a PC-like operating system, not one designed for mobile phones.

Naturally he turned his keynote focus on the upcoming OS, Windows 8, which we've already seen running on SoC platforms. Lees said that the networking and printing support enhancements stemming from the upcoming OS are expected to drive the adoption of Windows 8-based tablets moving forward. That may be true, but the thinner, lighter, less bulky iPad-like tablet form factor may also be a huge selling point for Microsoft, moving away from the heavier, bulkier form factors associated with slates.

According to Lees, desktops, notebooks, tablets and smartphones will eventually merge into a "unified ecosystem." These words echo Steve Ballmer's statement during CES 2011 at the beginning of the year as the Microsoft clan showed the world that Windows 8 could run on ARM-based SoCs, and even open PC applications like Word and Outlook.

"Whatever device you use... Windows will be there," Ballmer said during his CES 2011 keynote. "Windows PCs will continue to adapt and evolve. Windows will be everywhere on every device without compromise." The company is already working to consolidate its entertainment arm, merging Games for Windows with Xbox.com with additional plans to integrate Xbox Live directly into Windows 8 itself.

This isn't the first time Microsoft has stated that tablets would only receive a Windows 8 injection. There's also talk that the OS will eventually replace Windows Phone 7 on the mobile front given its supposed modular design and support for ARM-based architecture. But given that it's merely talk, we'll have to wait and see what Microsoft really has up its sleeve when Windows 8 is officially revealed as a finished product.

Windows 8 on the PC, smartphone, tablets, probably the next Xbox... one big unified Microsoft ecosystem.

  • beta tester
    Screwed!!!

    Anyone who just bought a Windows Phone gets screwed, because it will be obsolete when Microsoft shoehorns its desktop Windows 8 OS onto a phone.

    Assuming the talk is true (which I am convinced it is)
    Reply
  • baller have no balls (on tablets)
    Reply
  • back_by_demand
    beta testerScrewed!!!Anyone who just bought a Windows Phone gets screwed, because it will be obsolete when Microsoft shoehorns its desktop Windows 8 OS onto a phone.Assuming the talk is true (which I am convinced it is)Assuming of course that they don't allow OS update from 7 to 8 the same way iPhone users can update from iOS.

    Even if they charge a small fee via Marketplace which people would mind, they will still allow it.
    Reply
  • reggieray
    MS can not figure out how to get the bloated OS to run on tablets. Their propriety Direct X sucks the battery dry in no time.
    Reply
  • back_by_demand
    ReggieRayMS can not figure out how to get the bloated OS to run on tablets. Their propriety Direct X sucks the battery dry in no time.Reggie, you have obviously never used WP7
    Reply
  • waethorn
    Why does anybody want WP7 on a tablet? It's Windows CE (the same underpinnings as Windows Mobile) with a new shell. Windows CE is going to be deprecated once Windows 8's ARM-compatible kernel is available, and Windows CE's kernel dates back to Windows 95, with minor incremental updates. Windows 8 is, of course, built on the superior NT kernel that has been heavily optimized through the MinWin project. It is now very small, and yet even more powerful than before. Anybody that wants Windows Phone 7 on a tablet is delusional.
    Reply
  • back_by_demand
    WaethornWhy does anybody want WP7 on a tablet? It's Windows CE (the same underpinnings as Windows Mobile) with a new shell. Windows CE is going to be deprecated once Windows 8's ARM-compatible kernel is available, and Windows CE's kernel dates back to Windows 95, with minor incremental updates. Windows 8 is, of course, built on the superior NT kernel that has been heavily optimized through the MinWin project. It is now very small, and yet even more powerful than before. Anybody that wants Windows Phone 7 on a tablet is delusional.I would say the same for the iPad, why would anyone want the iPhone OS on a tablet, but the answer that they are delusional is too obvious.

    Microsoft are having a dedicated desktop OS, dedicated server OS, dedicated tablet OS and a dedicated phone OS, they all work with each other and despite a lot of hot air from the sweaty nerds or Mac sheep the world loves it.
    Reply
  • waethorn
    back_by_demandI would say the same for the iPad, why would anyone want the iPhone OS on a tablet, but the answer that they are delusional is too obvious.Microsoft are having a dedicated desktop OS, dedicated server OS, dedicated tablet OS and a dedicated phone OS, they all work with each other and despite a lot of hot air from the sweaty nerds or Mac sheep the world loves it.
    What Microsoft is doing is making each device independent though, which until recently, was not true of iOS. Mark my words, Apple will pull a similar trick with iOS: make it more complex to add more features, and eventually replace OS X with it. Microsoft will also make the new shell more complex so that the "Desktop" will be replaced entirely by it. HTML5 is just getting started though, isn't "complete" by any stretch of the imagination, and doesn't offer native-quality capabilities. In a few Windows versions from now, that will change, and the new shell for Windows will adapt too. Apple doesn't do server stuff anymore - that's made very clear by Lion Server. They are focussing on one client OS: iOS. OS X is now considered iOS's afterbirth. Microsoft, in contrast, wants one client OS, but they won't give up on the server OS because there is growing demand for it. Much like OS X Server though, Windows Server uses the same codebase as it's client brethren, except for the tools, so development for it is fairly smooth.
    Reply
  • eddieroolz
    He's definitely right that a tablet should use a desktop-oriented OS. I want to be able to do much of the same things on a tablet as I do on a desktop. Current models don't let me do that.
    Reply