Microsoft’s many other operating systems

Microsoft Delivers Its ‘Other’ Tablet Operating System
[Via Daring Fireball]

Mary Jo Foley:

Microsoft officials have attempted to distinguish slates and tablets running full Windows 7 from those running Compact 7 by saying those running the Windows Embedded Compact OS are meant to be consumption devices, rather than consumption and creation devices.

Good luck with that.


The article has this helpful figure:


Yep, each of them have the same sort of name but the OS is different from the PC/Slate models with Windows 7 on them. So, which one is a developer supposed to use to create applications?

See, according to MS, embedded is supposed to be used on devices that consume content while the full version is for those that create content. It would be nice if it was just that cut and dried.

Apple is selling tablets like they are computers while MS still sees those devices as some sort of fancy newsreader/video box.

As was highlighted yesterday:

One version is not just enough, it’s optimal from the customer point of view. Just ask Apple: It offers just one version of Mac OS X. It’s called Mac OS X. Not Mac OS X Media Center Edition or Mac OS X Arbitrarily Limited Edition. Just Mac OS X.

How many versions of Windows will the market really support?

The article also mentions that MS ‘real’ tablet OS will arrive sometime in 2012. Add another year or so if it follows MS normal timelines. IN either case, it may be just too late by then for any meaningful entry into the marketplace.

Only a 20th Century Company would think getting a product out 2 years after its competitors was a worthwhile effort. 21st Century Companies know that they have to react in the timeframe of months rather than years.

Samsung might not have a great tablet with its Tab but it responded quickly to the marketplace, using what it could to get a reasonable decent product out. It demonstrated some of the attributes of a 21st Century Company.

MS has not and that might make its future in this century, or even the next decade, parlous (because I like it better than perilous).