Microsoft not launching Windows tablet until mid-2011

30 Sep 2010

It is understood Microsoft is holding back the launch of its own Windows tablet until mid-2011 when a rumoured Windows 8 will feature instant-on, GPS and restoration tools.

According to a report in the San Francisco Chronicle, Jeffries analyst Katherine Egbert has said Microsoft Windows will not sit on a tablet computer until the middle of next year – giving the iPad a 1.5-year headstart on Microsoft, not to mention Google with Android and RIM with its new BlackBerry PlayBook.

The difficulty, Egbert says, is that Windows 7 in its current form cannot port onto a tablet device.

“Windows 7 is currently not supported on Qualcomm’s popular SnapDragon processor and Intel’s low-power Oak Trail processor (part of the Atom family) for tablets is not due out until March 2011.

“Microsoft could introduce Windows-based tablets on the existing Atom chips, but the risks associated with the introduction of a less optimised system outweigh the risks of waiting for the right technology to become available.”

Jenkins’ views are not exactly breaking news but I think she is missing a trick.

Yesterday, Dell said it would be bringing out new flavours of the Dell Streak, which is currently on Android, in 3-inch, 4-inch, 7-inch and 10-inch formats. It also said it would be putting Windows Phone 7 on some of these versions.

If I’m not mistaken, Android is a smartphone operating system that can be augmented for the latest families of tablet devices, from Samsung and Dell.

Windows Phone 7 is near release and therefore I wouldn’t be too surprised if Windows Phone 7 tablets were ready either before Christmas or in the first quarter of 2011.

To suggest putting a full desktop operating system on a tablet device is missing the point of what tablet computers are all about. QED.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years