Dec 14, 2010 — by: Karl Johnson
Categories: News, Predictions, Products, Review

Trying to fit a desktop operating system in the tablet will never work. These tablets require a new operating system built around its touch display and power sipping processors. Microsoft has been trying to fit Windows into a tablet since 2001. Each time they have tried and failed. The last Windows tablet was the HP Slate, which topped out at 9,000 units sold. These HP Slates could not compete with the iPad three months ago, why does Microsoft think that these new ones will? It may still be up for debate whether Windows belongs on a desktop, but we know that it does not belong on a tablet.

The New York Times is reporting that Microsoft will be coming out with new tablets next month at CES. Before the iPad was released, Microsoft had almost no competition and they still failed. Now these new tablets will have to compete against the iPad. Apple has sold more tablets than anyone else combined. When these new tablets are released, the failures of Windows on the tablet will be obvious when compared to the iPad.

The Windows interface does not work with a pen let alone a finger. Putting all the applications and files into a start menu and then making the user try to click that, it is asking for trouble. Trying to click on that start menu will drive most to toss their shiny new tablets across the room with frustration. Add to that, trying the close windows, clicking on small pop ups, finding a command buried deep in a menu system, all these will continue to frustrate the average user. Windows is not built with touch in mind, it was built for the mouse.

All of the these Windows tablets will require an x86 processor. The current crop of desktop processors run too hot and require too much power to be feasible inside a tablet. Intel's ATOM processor will be the most likely candidate for these tablets. The ATOM is the same processor used in most netbooks out there today. Anybody with a netbook will tell you they are very slow compared to a laptop machine. Buying a Windows tablet will be like buying a netbook without a keyboard. Not only will these tablet be slow, they will also have poor battery performance. Intel's ATOM processor uses more power than the iPad ARM processor. Windows tablets will run slowly and won't come close to matching the iPad's 10 hour battery life.

Not only will the operating system run slow, but the applications will as well. Since these tablet will run Windows, users will install their desktop applications on it like Microsoft Office. These applications are not designed to be efficient, so they end up being processor intensive. This is not a problem on most desktops or laptops, since they have more than enough power. This is not true for today's tablets, since they have less power than their desktop counterparts. Putting desktop applications on a tablet will cause these tablets to run even slower. A slow operating system combined with slow applications create a horrible user experience. These tablets never succeeded when they were alone in the market and now they have competition. Apple's iPad is the competition now, which has addressed all of these issues with the Windows tablet.

The iPad was created with a new operating system based on the iPhone. It has a touch interface, creating a great user experience. This operating system was designed to be efficient on today's low power ARM chips. When Apple added the app store, they also introduced a whole new set of efficient applications that were also built for the touch interface and ARM processor. Apple has invented a new type of tablet without any desktop legacy holding it back. Analysts' Predict the iPad will sell over 10 million units this year so it looks like a winner.

Microsoft is going to try to compete with the hottest selling customer device by sticking Windows in a small box and getting rid of the keyboard. Looks like Microsoft will keep doing the same things over and over and hope to get a different result. Steve Ballmer may like his strategy, but the consumer does not. Microsoft's new tablets will fail like all their other tablets before it, because they have no vision for the tablet; Apple does.

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1 Comment

  1. Michael ~ Dec. 15, 2010 @ 1:51 am

    You don't really expect them to create an alternative to Windows, do you? If people have to buy new applications to run on a new Microsoft OS, then why not just move to a completely different platform? If Microsoft were to create a new OS for a new type of general purpose computing device that replaces a Windows PC, then it would leave the gates open for more direct competition from other software developers to produce operating systems for devices that consumers will purchase instead of a Windows PC. This of course would legitimize iOS as a limited desktop replacement. And this is the direction Apple is going. "Full Screen" Mode in OS X Lion is really just an iPad compatible interface. I believe that applications with a full screen mode will be installable on iPads and of course, vise-versa, apps written for the iPad will work on Mac OS X Lion in full screen mode. #

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