Enterprise Mobility: Microsoft Tablets Could Borrow Best Parts from Windows Phone 7

By Nicholas Kolakowski  |  Posted 2011-03-10 Print this article Print
Lighter UI

Lighter UI

Microsoft seems determined to cling to Windows for its tablets currently on the market. However, the OS comes across as ungainly versus Android and iOS. In its place, Microsoft could consider a touch-optimized, "lighter" user interface more in line with what you find on a smartphone.
However you slice it, Microsoft definitely has an uphill battle ahead in the tablet market. With Apple's iPad currently selling millions of units and manufacturers making aggressive inroads with Android-based competitors, it will take some bold moves for another company to make a decisive mark on the market. So far, Microsoft seems content for its manufacturing partners to produce a limited number of tablets running Windows 7—but the company also recognizes that things will need to change, and relatively soon, if it wants to take a piece of this lucrative new segment. Fortunately, Microsoft can draw some lessons from not only the experiences of competitors in the space, such as the Motorola Xoom, but also its recent launch of Windows Phone 7. Things like creating a tablet-centric user interface, encouraging developers early to build apps for the platform and ensuring that all manufacturers' tablets follow a very specific set of specs—these are the sorts of steps that Microsoft could do well to take if it wants to be something other than a tablet also-ran. Whether Microsoft makes its big tablet push soon, or waits for Windows 8 (rumored to launch in 2012), the following points could help the company release touch-screen devices capable of attracting both consumers and businesspeople.
Nicholas Kolakowski is a staff editor at eWEEK, covering Microsoft and other companies in the enterprise space, as well as evolving technology such as tablet PCs. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, Playboy, WebMD, AARP the Magazine, AutoWeek, Washington City Paper, Trader Monthly, and Private Air. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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