WSJ: Microsoft Plans 7-inch Windows Tablet
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Microsoft plans to start producing a 7 inch Windows Tablet later this year. A person familiar with Microsoft products said that that smaller tablets were not originally part of Microsoft’s plans but with the increase in sales of the smaller tablets, Microsoft seems to want to join the party. What OS will this device use? Can a 7 inch Windows Tablet succeed? We’ll examine these questions below.
[ Also See: Microsoft Surface Pro Review ]
Which OS should the 7 Inch Windows Tablet Use?
Whether or not a 7 inch tablet is a good idea or not depends on what operating system it uses. Will it run the Windows Phone OS and provide consumers with a large phone, similar to the Samsung Galaxy Note? Will the 7 inch Microsoft Tablet run Windows 8, offering the best of both worlds in terms of compatibility and portability? Or will the new device run Windows RT, a platform that has seen anemic sales to date, and that may soon compete with Windows 8 Tablets in both price and performance? In my opinion, Microsoft needs to focus on Windows 8 Tablets and let Windows RT die. I believe Microsoft only way to compete with already established competition such as the Apple iPad and top Google Android Tablets is to leverage the advantage Windows 8 has over iOS and Android- desktop application compatibility. A 7 inch Windows Phone device could be useful as well but a 7 inch Windows 8 tablet would sale like hot cakes in my opinion.
Can a 7 inch Windows Tablet Succeed?
Regardless of the OS that will run on these devices, a 7 inch Windows Tablet can only succeed if there are killer apps available for it. Microsoft needs to come up with a compelling reason why someone should by a Microsoft Surface Mini over alternatives such as the iPad Mini and Google Android Nexus 7. One thing Microsoft should consider is to integrate this new tablet with its existing Xbox live ecosystem. They should allow these device to be used with the next generation Xbox gaming console. Microsoft could also include with the device a long term xBox Music trial. What ever Microsoft does, they better make most of the top apps available on other platforms available for Windows Tablets. Without apps, Windows Tablets will continue to be the third horse in a two horse tablet race.