With Android seemingly becoming the dominant OS of choice for tablet manufacturers, one has to wonder whether other companies will attempt to compete with Google vying for a piece of the tablet OS pie. We've talked before of HP's potential plans to bring Palm's WebOS to tablets and other mobile devices, and we can't ignore the impending arrival of MeeGo. But one major player who has been keeping relatively quiet recently is Microsoft. While Windows Mobile used to be very popular among Asian tablet manufacturers, the old OS seems to have finally been overtaken by Android. The announcement of Windows Phone 7 was a positive step by the company on the smartphone front, and many presumed it would also be a candidate for tablets and other mobile devices as well. But at a press event in Singapore, CEO Steve Ballmer stated "We're focused on putting Windows Phone 7 in phones, no plans for tablets," adding that the company was targeting the tablet market with Windows 7 rather than Windows Phone 7 in an interview with Fortune.
This is a surprising stance from the company, as Windows 7 is not perfectly suited to a touch-based tablet environment, whereas I think most people would agree that WP7 should be a much better match with its touch-orientated interface and mobile platform hardware requirements. What is uncertain is whether Microsoft is simply concentrating on the smartphone market first, or whether it has already decided to limit WP7 to phones only. I believe Android is a great mobile OS and its success is well deserved, but I would always welcome more competition in the market for the benefit of consumers. Let's hope that Microsoft will consider bringing WP7 or perhaps a variation of it to the tablet and mobile device markets soon after its smartphone debut. What are your thoughts on the tablet OS landscape? Are you happy with Android? Or would you welcome more competition?[WMExperts via Liliputing]