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Microsoft won't rule out pure tablet OS, holding off

updated 04:15 pm EDT, Tue April 19, 2011

Microsoft UK exec allows option for tablet OS

Microsoft UK managing director Ashley Highfield in an interview on Tuesday left the door open for the possibility of a dedicated tablet OS. While he wouldn't say Microsoft was developing such a platform, he allowed the possibility at some point in the future. Regardless of how it came, Microsoft's unwillingness to make a tablet of its own meant any tablet-ready software would come only if it could stand out, Highfield explained to Pocket-lint.

"We won't do anything in the tablet market unless we can be distinctive," he said.

The Windows developer has been chastised repeatedly for its conservative attitude towards tablets. Along with so far declining to adapt Windows Phone to a tablet interface, it has mostly tried to ride on minor multi-touch changes to Windows 7 for what it can offer today. Windows 8 is due to use a new Immersive tablet interface but isn't likely to ship until late 2012.

Apple and Google, the two current leaders in the tablet space, have succeeded mostly by being quick to have touch-friendly interfaces and, in Apple's case, to optimize for tablet sizes quickly.

Highfield personally remained loyal to Windows and said he used a Dell Inspiron Duo as a "best of both worlds" tablet and computer mix. He quickly acknowledged that, like owners of most other tablets, he had a conventional Sony VAIO notebook for "heavy lifting."

By Electronista Staff


  1. climacs

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 2001



    I was hoping to see a Zune tablet or some other abomination for Microsoft to throw hundreds of millions at...

  1. Paul Huang

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 1999


    Still pondering

    Whether to close the barn door after all the horses have been long gone.

  1. Herod

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2007


    what will microsoft rule out?

    doesn't seem like anything.

  1. pairof9s

    Senior User

    Joined: Jan 2008


    Such a Nero complex

    Way late on the iPod challenge that made any MP3 devices laughable, then too late in redeveloping their iPhone challenge (come on, people...does anyone really think Win Pho is going to overtake iOS and/or Android?!), and now, still debating on whether or even how to challenge in the tablet if Tablet PC will yet rule the day!

    One wonders which is worse....Ballmer or the Microsoft board that continues to drink his Kool-Aid.


  1. Wingsy

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2005


    That Settles It

    "We won't do anything in the tablet market unless we can be distinctive"

    Translation: "Microsoft will never make a tablet OS, ever."

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