Microsoft’s mobile device strategy – a suggestion

For Windows to have any chance of competing with Android and iOS, Microsoft should rethink their strategy on the tablet/slate form factor.

Hardware-wise, the Asus EEE Pad proves that it is possible to run Win7 on a pad/slate. However there are two other important things that distinguish the slate experience from the desktop experience which Microsoft should pay attention to:

1) Fast “boot-up” speed – In reality this is actually just a fast restore-from-hibernate/suspend, so while Windows 7 may still not be as fast as an iPhone/iPad/Android device turning on, it might come close.

2) Touch/Gesture friendly UI – This can be as simple as just replacing Explorer with a touch-friendly version supporting gestures. Of course you will also need apps that are touch-compatible, but such apps written for Windows Phone 7 can easily run unmodified on Windows 7 as well as long as they are written for Silverlight and/or other CLR environments.

I also believe there will be a market for pen and touch based devices. People want to be able to draw and write notes and Apple has not addressed this market properly at all. The big question is if it will be possible to have a display that can be as smoothly responsive as a capacitive touchscreen is and supports precise pen input at the same time.

If Windows 7 can incorporate the above suggestions, we can get the best of all possible worlds.  A UI and OS power on/off response that can match the Android/iOS experience while retaining the tremendous advantages of being compatible with the desktop Windows ecosystem.  Microsoft, get to work!

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