> Microsoft: Why, Oh Why?

Microsoft: Why, Oh Why?

Posted on Friday, April 30, 2010 | No Comments

Following circulating rumours, Microsoft has all but confirmed that its dual-screened tablet device aka “Courier” has now been well and truly shelved, never to see the light of day. In a double-blow, HP also announced that the “HP Slate” computer will not be released with the Windows 7 operating system.

The bit I’m unable to work out just yet is why Microsoft and HP have sidelined both of these projects, at almost exactly the same time. The cancellation of the HP device is even more confusing; Steve Ballmer stood in front of the crowds at CES earlier this year and took great pride in announcing the device and the possibilities that lied in store for the tablet device and for the Windows 7 operating system.

So why has it been ditched? HP’s recent acquisition of Palm now means they have their own operating system (webOS), which they could adapt to run on the Slate computer, but after the fanfare of the Microsoft partnership for this device and the timescales involved in potentially getting webOS ready for such a device, for me it doesn’t quite add up.

The Courier is even more of a mystery – having undoubtedly spending millions in R&D for such a device – and the buzz that has been generated on the web from those who wished to get their hands on the device, it’s baffling me why they would pull the plug on the project in its entirety, especially as Apple starts to make in-roads into the tablet market with the iPad thingy.

The only thing that comes to mind is that Microsoft has decided to reverse its decision to base its tablet software on Windows 7. Whilst that’s possibly a little unlikely given the touch capabilities that were build directly into the OS and the lightweight design of the software (compared to previous Windows OSs) to stay competitive in the netbook market, the announcement of “Window Mobile Phone 7” could have changed that, though any change of direction obviously leaves Microsoft trailing further and further behind its competitors.

It’s all too much of a coincidence to me, which is why I’m going to watching what happens next very closely. Strange going-ons are a foot.

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