So the Big Ballmer took the wraps off Windows for ARM, which turns out will be the next version of Windows, ruining predictions by myself and others that he would be showing Windows Embedded Compact 7. Can’t say I’m too upset by that, particularly since there’s more to this story than missing a prediction.
When Microsoft released the preview of WEC7, they announced an expected release to manufacturing of the end of 2010 and posted a video demonstrating tablet UI design. Prior to that, ASUS showed off their 10-inch Eee Pad EP101TC running WEC7 at Computex.
Fast forward to today, those videos showing tablet UI are no longer posted on the WEC7 site, and the EP101TC is not among the Eee Pads ASUS is showing at CES 2011, nor so far has there been announcement of other tablets running WEC7. By contrast, the EP121 running Windows 7 also presented at Computex is included among the CES offerings and even upgraded to an Intel Core i5 processor.
So, yes, I missed the call on WEC7, but, no, it’s not because I misread the signs. The signs pointing to WEC7 for tablets were there. They are now scrubbed away and covered over with a big new sign pointing to the next version of Windows. WEC7 appears to still be moving forward, but it’s no longer positioned as a consumer tablet option.