No Windows ecosystem, no Windows

broken windowby Editor B

Where is the Windows Phone Tablet?
[Via asymco]

The Windows Phone platform currently has hardware specifications that imply a cellular phone device. What is interesting in light of the new WebOS TouchPad, the newly announced Android tablets, the RIM Playbook and the iPad is that this supposed “third horse” of Windows Phone has no hint of presence or future presence in the tablet form factor.

That might have something to do with the plans to move Windows to the tablet form factor. Perhaps Microsoft thinks that pocket size devices deserve a separate operating system, platform and ecosystem than portable mobile computers. Perhaps Microsoft plans to have two separate interfaces for these tablets (slates vs. tablets?) Then again, Ballmer held up a Windows Phone and said “This is Windows too.”

It gets confusing.

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Apple has created an almost seamless ecosystem from mobile devices to desktop, from tablet to laptop. The operating systems are very similar – essentially just subsets of each other. Developers can create apps very rapidly.

They can create an app for a cell phone, move it to the tablet and then, with just a few man-hours, be ready to sell it for the desktop. And they can sell huge numbers of units. Selling more in 20 days than in the previous year gets people’s attention.The app economy is supercharged by Apple.

No one else can provide this. Not Android, with its fragmented market on mobile devices and no robust desktop model. Not Microsoft with its different OS for mobile and desktop.And no easy way for developers to move between them. And no tablet strategy at all.

I do not think Microsoft will ever be able to catch up with this ecosystem Apple has created. It may just end up a gaming company.