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."