Microsoft To Release Windows for Tablets in 2012 [REPORT]
Microsoft will release a tablet-oriented version of Windows no sooner than 2012, Bloomberg reports, citing sources familiar with the matter.
Despite Steve Ballmer’s bombastic statements in July last year, when he said Microsoft is “hardcore” about tablets and that we can expect “a lot” of Windows-based tablets by the end of 2010, none of the tablets that actually did hit the stores made any significant impact on the market.
The reasons for this are quite clear: Windows 7 simply isn’t optimized for use with modern tablets with finger-based input. Remember the long, painful transition from Windows Mobile 6 to Windows Phone 7? Once again, it will take time for Microsoft to deliver the user experience it needs to be able to compete with Apple’s iOS and Google’s Honeycomb.
The 2012 release date for Windows 8 is in line with what we’ve previously heard. However, a recent report claimed that a tablet-optimized beta version of Windows 8 is coming in September, and now Bloomberg‘s sources claim that the public testing of the new version of Windows will begin “at the end of this year” with partners and customers, with the final version of the OS being slated for “back-to-school season” of 2012. With the iPad 2 coming to stores one week from now, those dates sound very, very distant.
There’s a long road ahead for Microsoft, whose Windows-for-tablets will probably have to compete with an iPad 3, far more advanced Android tablets and a second generation of RIM’s PlayBook. However, as evident from the examples of Microsoft’s search engine Bing and Windows Phone 7, which has been slow to make an impact on the market but a partnership with Nokia will surely bring it greater adoption, Microsoft has shown to be a company that knows how to be patient and learn from its mistakes.
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