A report has suggested that Microsoft are not planning on bringing a tablet-specific version of Windows to market until late in 2012, which will put them at a significant disadvantage when compared to rivals Apple and Google.
The report in Bloomberg today comes in the same week that Apple launched the second generation iPad and at a time when new Honeycomb tablets are launching every couple of weeks. Microsoft has not immediately replied to these reports but we have seen nothing that would suggest the predictions are not true. Last month we reported on Dell’s tablet roadmap for the 2011 and 2012 with a tablet called the Peju slated for an early 2012 launch running Windows 8 - rather than Windows Tablet.
Microsoft’s decision to make the next version of its OS that works on ARM’s processors is seen as a reaction to the huge popularity of the iPad. Currently the tablets that run Windows 7 are not selling well and are aimed primarily at the corporate section of the market. Microsoft is working to update its Windows 7 operating system with features more tailored to the touch screens, size and battery life of tablet computers but until that arrives most tablet manufacturers will steer clear of the platform.
While it dominates the PC market, the Redmond-based company has struggled to gain traction in the mobile market with Windows Phone 7 coming to the table late and having some issues surrounding its first update. A proper tablet-specific version of Windows would certainly be popular but if it doesn’t arrive for another 18 months it will be up against the third generation versions of the iPad and Galaxy Tab and second generation Xoom, TouchPad and Optimus Pad models.