Somewhere on Microsoft’s Redmond campus there must be some interesting discussions about the state of Microsoft mobile technology strategies. Let’s review:
1. The Tablet PC and UMPC failed to gain any marketshare or mindshare
2. Windows Mobile 6.x smarpthone marketshare is down to single digit percentage points
3. The Windows 7 based HP Slate announced at CES in January is apparently going to run webOS instead
4. The Microsoft Kin was introduced in May and terminated with great prejudice 6 weeks later
5. Windows Phone 7, which received extremely positive commentary at its introduction in February, is getting lukewarm comments based on preview reviews of the non-production developer phones that shipped last week
This is particularly interesting to me since the Asus Eee Pad was apparently slated (pun intended) to run Windows CE instead of Windows 7. Unlike Windows 7, Windows CE can provide a true and consistent instant-on/off experience. Unlike Windows Phone 7, Windows CE has multitasking and can be fitted with a shell that supports copy and paste. And, unlike Windows Phone 7, there are hundreds if not thousands of experienced Windows CE developers. Some have over a decade of experience at this point. I continue to believe that Windows CE is the appropriate mobile platform for a Microsoft tablet/slate product.