Monday, July 12, 2010

MS Windows 7 Tablet Trouble

I've read a little about Microsoft's WPC 2010, and several articles on upcoming Windows 7 Based Tablets. It'll be interesting to see what gets unveiled in the near future, but I don't have high hopes. That so many companies, from Asus to Toshiba think that putting Windows 7 on a tablet device is a good plan scares me a little. It's like the entire tech market has fallen completely out of touch with what the consumer wants.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Putting a Desktop OS on a mobile device is pretty much setting the device up to fail.

It's all about the three B's. Boot-time, Battery Life, and Buttons.

Mobile Devices with a Desktop OS will (in my opinion) have...

... a longer Boot-time.
... (ounce for ounce) shorter Battery Life.
... more buttons making for a confusing off-screen interface.

Put simply, this will be BBBad for any of those devices when they get held next to someone running a Tablet with an OS designed for mobile, touch screen devices.

There's hope out there though.

RIM allegedly has a 7" Tablet running a custom OS to hit the markets soon. Given how popular the Blackberry is, such a device stands a chance of being adopted by a variety of folks who already own the popular handset. Hopefully it can reach out beyond that and find some gamers, developers, writers, artists, and other folks who find it useful.

ExoPC is working on a Tablet that sports a custom interface that lays over the top of Windows 7 allowing it to be easily navigated with a finger. Has the same basic stats as a netbook with a 32GB SSD, and from all the video I've seen runs pretty snappy. While riddled with pointless ports, it doesn't have a lot of buttons. Advertised battery life? 5 hours. Fix the battery life, screen viewing angle, and push up the pixel density so the thing can sit under 10" in diameter?

Might be a winner, but the fact remains that in order for Windows 7 to be a viable option, the manufacturer had to put touch capable buffer programming into the mix. If I know Asus, they'll probably do the same thing ExoPC has done, and craft some custom programming to lay over the top of Windows 7 allowing it to be touch screen friendly. MSI and Foxconn will probably make some incredibly nice hardware, that basically requires a bluetooth mouse and keyboard to be functional. I hope I'm wrong.

What I really want? Microsoft to /cast resurrect the Courier Project.

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