Bill Gates: The Tablet is a PC – Why This is True But Not a Good Strategy

Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 platform would make a great base for a tablet computer. A lot of people are behind that idea. Unfortunately, Microsoft’s management are not among them. Microsoft co-founder and Chair Bill Gates is no longer involved in day-to-day operations. However, Business Insider reports that Gates had a thing or two to say about the so-called “post-PC era” when interviewed on the BBC. Although he doesn’t directly mention Windows Phone, it could be argued that Gates implies that Microsoft Windows (PC) is the platform for tablets.

Bill Gates: “The PC Is The Tablet”

This makes sense since Gates promoted Microsoft’s Tablet PC concept which was based on Windows XP. You can learn a lot about Gates’ position and its apparent influence on Microsoft today by reading this June 2008 USA Today piece that was written shortly before Gates stepped away from Microsoft’s CEO position.

Gates looks into PC’s future as career shift approaches

It mentions the Microsoft Surface Table in Gates’ former office and how Gates believed its touch screen interface was the future. Microsoft Tablet is a variant of Microsoft Windows, of course. The article goes on to describe the areas that interested Gates and were Microsoft’s focus in 2008.

- Pen/stylus use
- Voice command/speech recognition (currently used in Ford Sync and elsewhere)
- Touch in the Microsoft Surface Table sense

Microsoft is currently the only major platform vendor without a true tablet strategy. They continue to support tablets running full Microsoft Windows 7 and the hardware required to run it effectively. Windows 7 is a fine (perhaps even great) desktop or notebook platform. But, it does not require its apps to be designed for touch as Android, iOS, webOS and even RIM’s QNX tuned for the PlayBook do. Until it provides a consistent app interface, Windows tablets will not be a true tablet play.


Video courtesy of creamhakcered (WinRumors)

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