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Revised Windows 7 Tablet Interface Rumored



Analysts are now predicting that Microsoft will be using its experience with Windows Media Center and Windows Phone 7 with the Metro user interface to design a Windows-based tablet. The analysts are saying that the tablet will have a more friendly user experience running on top of Windows 7. Given the mention of the Metro user interface, the user interface can be optimized to be more finger optimized to be competitive with consumer tablets running on smartphone operating systems, such as the iOS-enabled iPad and the Android tablets are beginning to show up on the market today.

Specifically, we anticipate ‘Windows 7 Tablet Edition’ to be more touch- and tablet-friendly with a new UI ‘shell’ (based on Windows Media Center and/or Metro as opposed to the traditional Taskbar interface of the currently default Explorer.exe) on top of existing Windows 7 ‘piping.

According to Credit Suisse, Microsoft says that a Windows 7 tablet is expected in the first half of 2011 with a new tablet user interface on the Windows 7 kernel.

Windows Phone 7 Metro UI

Microsoft may impose more stringent hardware requirements for tablet makers who wish to create a Windows 7 certified tablet to create an optimal user experience that’s consistent across devices. Such requirements may include capacitive touch, accelerometer, display sizes, web cameras and video camera specs, resolution, and battery life.

Following these requirements, if they are true, Microsoft could potentially create its own Tablet Marketplace, similar in scope to Apple’s Mac App Store, for the Windows 7 tablets. This would hopefully create tablet-optimized apps to make use of the tablet UI design guidelines. Also, this will help users discover and explore new tablet-specific apps while working in a Windows environment that’s familiar to developers; developers can make UI tweaks and easily be able to port their Windows programs to be tablet apps.

Microsoft’s next-generation Windows 7 tablets are expected to utilize Intel’s Oak Trail processor, which are Atom-based processors that have the benefit of increased performance while maintaining relatively low energy drain.

By implementing a more controlled strategy for higher-end, or mass market consumer-based Windows tablet, Microsoft may ease consumers into the market and shift them away from the Android tablet market by leveraging consistent user experiences on top of an already familiar desktop-class OS with already a number of professional applications that are available to them, including Microsoft Office. Device makers can benefit from lower prices for cost of components as they standardize around a set of recommendations from Microsoft.

However, rigid requirements have the potential to also commoditize the tablet market. With a standardized user interface offering, tablet makers would probably not be allowed to pre-load their own software or virtual keyboards and customized proprietary user interfaces. Essentially, running an HP tablet and a Lenovo tablet would offer little differentiation, other than styling and display sizes. Despite these risks, Microsoft had learned from the mobile space that this would reduce fragmentation, and it may be something that the company is willing to tackle as it learned from its experiences with Windows Phone 7 migrating from the disparate UI schemes from Windows Mobile.

Microsoft may still allow low-end tablet offerings to use a regular, non-revised tablet UI of Windows 7 to be released to the market. It’s unclear if the dual strategy will lead to new branding.




  1. Rent A Car

    12/07/2010 at 8:51 pm

    Windows 7? very good.

  2. GoodThings2Life

    12/08/2010 at 1:09 am

    I’m very VERY OK with them utilizing more and more Metro-based interfaces in Windows 7. But first half 2011 seems awful quick for them to implement such a product.

  3. Flash

    12/08/2010 at 3:45 am

    honestly, if i can set up a libretto w100 and a fujitsu p1620 to be touch friendly, already, why can`t either microsoft or the manufacturers just have it as a theme on all win7 touch pc`s. It`s dead simple to modify the scroll bar a bit, make the icons larger and easier to hit and increase the size of the windows close and minimise buttons. The actual taskbar is already very touch friendly on all my touch devces. i`ve just saved it as a theme soi ca reload it onto any win7 machine i want.

    The last thing I want is another half heared shell thats going to bump me into a normal win7 ui as soon as i open a program. I`d much rather see a proper touch and tablet theme in the standard ui.


    • ChrisRS

      12/08/2010 at 4:09 am

      I agree! Yes! Yes! Yes!

  4. ChrisRS

    12/08/2010 at 4:06 am

    Metro based shell – Good
    Seperate product – Bad (Think XP Tablet Edition)
    First half 2011 – depends on wha tthe actual product is.
    A shell on Windows 7 is doable. (The should have been working on this cince January.) A major re-work of WIn 7 seem unlikly. To succeed, MS needs to avoid the problems of XP tablet. I do not think that they are instatutionally able to do so.
    XP tablet was a superset of XP Pro. It had added hardware requirements, and cost the manufactuers more tha XP Pro, but was marketed to users with XP Home needs. Advertizeing was non exsitant. The TabletPC market did not develop. When Vista came out the TIP and some Tablet bits were improved some, other problems with Vista discouraged upgraders.
    If MS follows the course, Win 7 Tablet edition will again start fragmenting the Windows Line. It will probably be pruned down operate on netbook class hardware and wil orphan the true TabletPC with active digitizer. It will need to be spectacular for me to justify upgrading from Win 7. (I still think of Win 7 as Vista Release Candidate 1)

    This should be a minor upgrade availabIe to all WIn 7 Users. Just disable features that are not met by the availabe hardware. (A pen or mouse can not emulate multitouch but for the most part, a pen can do anything a mouse can, and either either can do what touch does.) MS has totally ignored the “Win 7 is no good for touch” crowd; manufactures should hve been encouraged and assisted in configuring touch and small screen devices to work Optimally with Win 7, and to shut down unnecessary services.

    I hope MS breaks from tradition and tries to do this right. Whatever they choose to do with touch and tablet needs to be on every computer in the MS Ofiice team – The Just Don’t Get It!

    but many users

    requirementfollow there seperate

  5. quillaja

    12/08/2010 at 5:36 am

    It’s going to suck unless this somehow changes the applications’ GUIs too. Otherwise, it might look pretty and finger-friendly on the surface, but kick you right back to crap as soon as you try to do anything with it.

    • ChrisRS

      12/08/2010 at 7:01 am

      Which application do you want to be touch friendly? If you are talking about media consumption that will happen. If you are taliking about produdtivity applications; those applications are wahat they are. If they are not touch friendly, that is OK because “Tablet and touch is not about productivity” applications. If they are available and work, that is good enough. The real applicationns available with a full operating system are not availabe on the limited OS devices.”Kicking you right back to crap” is better that not supporting these applications at all.

      That said, the MS productivity applications should be much more touch/pen/tablet friendly. If MS is serious about tablets, they will start using them extensivly themselves. The entire Office team would be a start.

  6. Tomas Antila

    12/08/2010 at 1:09 pm

    if this will work on my HP tx2000 I will be VERY happy.

  7. Wambie

    12/10/2010 at 4:35 am

    iPad == iOS and WinTab7 == WinPhone7 its the only sensible way to do it. Finger painting operating systems are not targeted at hardcore users and shouldn’t be either. The solution to be successful is simple and stylish and apple have already proven this.

    Metro on WinTab7 will be pure bliss :)

  8. A Boarder

    12/29/2011 at 6:39 am

    well a year or so later and look how wrong you all are. Word of advice… quit with the nonsense articles and wait till you have factual information

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