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Microsoft denies WP7 for tablets: 'we view a tablet as a PC'

updated 02:50 pm EDT, Tue July 12, 2011

Microsoft's Lees says no Windows Phone 7 tablets

Microsoft's Windows Phone president Andy Lees at the Worldwide Partners Conference once again tried to shoot down hopes for tablets based on Windows Phone 7. The use of the mobile OS would be "in conflict" with Microsoft's notion of having the full speed of a computer in any design, including truly mobile tablets. He insisted that users would want to do PC-style activities on a tablet and saw Windows 8's networking and printing support as being important.

"We view a tablet as a PC," Lees said.

The company is being helped by a long-requested call for Windows to support ARM chips, which will give Windows tablets the battery life and thin profiles that have been off-limits due to Microsoft's long insistence on Intel-based processors. Windows 8 itself borrows heavily from Windows Phone 7's tile-based interface and even has an Apple-influenced app store in development.

A focus on PC features has so far done little to improve Microsoft's share. Windows was once the only real tablet platform but was almost immediately eclipsed by the iPad, which went on to outsell Windows Tablet PC's lifetime sales in just nine months. In early 2011, 99 percent of tablets were non-Windows devices. Many have specifically pointed to the lack of legacy desktop platforms as a plus, since it keeps the OS lean and has led to a truly optimized interface and apps.

Windows 8 will only have a legacy of apps for conventional apps written for x86 chips. To get truly tablet-optimized apps will need an interface rewrite, and ARM apps will need to be recompiled whether or not they use the touch-friendly elements.

Microsoft has a direct motivation to convince buyers that the PC-oriented model for tablets will work. Poor mobile sales have left it still dependent on desktop Windows for sales. These have been directly threatened by the iPad as some netbook and low-end notebook sales have gone to Apple's tablet.

By Electronista Staff


  1. Jeronimo2000

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001



    'we view a tablet as a PC'

    And that, dear Microsofties, will be the reason for your eventual and inevitable demise as a company. And see, the world will be a better place for it.


  1. facebook_John

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jul 2011


    Really? Really.

    Jeez, after ten years these guys STILL don't get it.

  1. pairof9s

    Senior User

    Joined: Jan 2008


    So is that why...

    Microsoft gave up on Windows PC for mobile phones and developed Windows Phone 7 as a dedicated mobile OS like iOS and Android?

    Jeronimo and FB John are right...these guys don't even know how to take their heads out of the sand!


  1. viktorob

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2011


    they will never learn..

    When is microsoft going to learn to keep their mouth shut? looks like every time they says something it predict their own failure.
    Remember how Steve Ballmer laugh of the iPhone?and who is laughing now?

  1. Athens

    Addicted to MacNN

    Joined: Jan 2003


    Here you have it

    This is why Microsoft fails so badly in these new markets. It can't see past its main OS or what people want. They just don't get it.

  1. QualleyIV

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2001


    Microsoft is truly becoming the IBM of its day...

    As Microsoft evolves (or fails to do so) it reminds me more and more of IBM--once a great leader in technology who, for whatever reason, fails to respond to a changing times. I have little doubt that Microsoft will be in a similar place in due course...

  1. facebook_Timothy

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jul 2011


    The more things change, the more they stay the sam

    Apple will continue to innovate; Microsoft will continue to regurgitate. Any questions?

  1. climacs

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 2001


    Upton Sinclair once said

    "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it."

    Microsoft has made quite a bit of money on Windows and Office. It will also be their downfall because they can't see past it.

  1. ASathin8R

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2010


    As blinded as they may seem

    (and I never thought I'd ever attempt defend Steve "Monkey Boy" Ballmer and his cronies) they may actualy have (dare I say this too) a "vision". They want to protect their Windows legacy - and rightly so - it is a cash cow. The fact that Windows 8 will support ARM processors is a big deal. Within a couple of years, ARM chips will be desktop capable. If, and that's a big IF, MS can make Windows 8 more optimized, they could be in a relatively strong position. A desktop class OS with a properly optimized tablet interface could give people a compelling reason to buy Windows 8 tablets, when up till the release of Windows 8, Windows tablet PCs have fallen by the wayside.

  1. lamewing

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Aug 2004


    MS was right about one thing

    What is that? STYLUS INPUT!!!!

    I cannot input handwritten Japanese kana and kanji with my fingers (too imprecise) so I am forced to type or 10 key my Japanese input. GRRRRRR.

    When the iPad gains (optional - I will happily buy the stylus separately) stylus input, I will buy one. Until then, I am stuck using my Thinkpad X61. /cry

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