Microsoft has been late to the party with the explosion in popularity of the tablet computer last year, driven by Apple’s hugely successful iPad (the successor to which will be released at the end of this week in the US).
Currently Microsoft is very much on the defensive, as a leaked January PowerPoint presentation revealed, it’s all about damage control against Apple as the company tweaks up its Windows 7 OS to better suit slates.
However, it seems that according to Bloomberg Businessweek’s sources, Microsoft won’t release a tablet OS to go up against Apple (and Google) until the Autumn of 2012. Which seems pretty late in the day.
Michael Gartenberg, a Gartner analyst, told Bloomberg: “If 2011 is the year of the tablet wars, Microsoft will be awfully late suiting up for that battle. It’s not a good position to be in.”
Microsoft’s current focus seems to be streamlining Windows 7 to work better with touch screens, and to be more friendly to tablets in terms of battery life.