Microsoft Windows 7-Based Tablets Won't Work: 10 Reasons Why

News Analysis: Microsoft is bullish on Windows 7-based tablets. But a closer look at these devices reveals that they won't have what it takes to be a success in that market.

With the HP Slate 500 now available for purchase, some are wondering if Windows 7 is an effective operating system for tablets. For its part, Microsoft believes it is. The company has said time and again that it believes Windows 7 is ideal for customers that want more out of tablets than what they're currently getting from devices such as Apple's iPad or Samsung's Galaxy Tab.

However, Windows 7-based tablets just don't seem to be the best choice for customers. Microsoft's operating system suffers from some serious drawbacks that make it a less-than-ideal choice for both consumer and enterprise customers. As much as Microsoft might want to get behind its platform-as it should-the OS falls short in too many areas for it to be a real competitor to iOS or Android.

Read on to find out why Windows 7-based tablets just won't work in 2011.

1. Tablets don't need full-fledged operating systems

Apple has proven that tablets just don't need full-fledged operating systems to be a success. The company's iPad boasts iOS, which, by all accounts, is far less capable than are Mac OS X and Windows. Samsung's Galaxy Tab runs Android, which is also under-powered compared with desktop alternatives. So far, consumers-and even some enterprise customers-haven't taken issue with that, and they aren't likely to in the future.

2. Security concerns

Security is a major concern for IT staff whenever an employee leaves the office. At least for now, Android and iOS are most likely safer than Windows. They still allow users to be susceptible to phishing scams, but Windows-based malware won't affect those operating systems. That eliminates a significant portion of the security concerns both companies and consumers currently have with operating systems.

3. Mouse and keyboard first

Even with Windows 7 in tow, it's important to remember that Windows was designed for use a mouse and keyboard. As a result, it won't work as well as it should in a tablet-style device. Android and iOS, on the other hand, were designed with touch screens in mind. That's an important distinction, and it will help drive consumer interest in those platforms.

4. Apple matters most

When it comes to tablets, it's hard to find a single company-Google included-that is as important as Apple. Steve Jobs and Apple were instrumental in bringing tablets to the mainstream. Apple's iPad is easily leading the way in the tablet space-at least so far. Could that change? Sure. But if that does change, it will no doubt be Google taking the top spot. Microsoft and Windows 7 just don't have what it takes to overcome Apple's importance in this niche market.

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger is a longtime freelance contributor to several technology and business publications. Over his career, Don has written about everything from geek-friendly gadgetry to issues of privacy...