Windows tablets like HP TouchSmart and the never-released HP Windows 7 Slate gathered the least attention in the recent history. They were ultimately discarded due to lack of demand.
There are different seasons why Windows tablets were utter failures in the consumer market. There was a lack of touch-centric applications and the hardware was too bulky to be portable. The iPad drew new lines for the standard design of a tablet device.
Even Windows 7, with all its broad strokes for finger and thumb impressions, had issues with touch screens. Its compatibility with slate devices was limited to only Windows features. Windows, to date has always been design for rigorous work on desktops and laptops, where mice devices reign the on-screen manoeuvring.
After the release of iPad, Google jumped in to make things even worse for Microsoft. The Android operating system, initially designed for smartphones, easily made its way into tablets. The contemporary market is ruled by two kinds, iOS from Apple and Android from Google.
Microsoft being software partner with more than two dozen hardware manufacturers, might also aggravate the relationship. Everyone of these companies is already supplying Android on their tablets and the release of Microsoft’s own tablets does not bode well for trust between the parties.
If Shih’s hypothesis is true, the new Windows might have a ray of hope, however, if Microsoft plans to take it to the consumer market all by itself, then history has a strong chance to repeat itself.
Will the new tablets from Microsoft be a success or will mirror the same results as HP TouchSmart, only time can tell. However, one thing is for sure, the new Windows 8 is nothing like Windows 7, it is developed around the idea of tablets and touch screens.