Flops and vapor: 10 ways Microsoft tried and failed to rule mobile

Take a tour through Microsoft's forgettable, regrettable mobile OS history

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WinPad, aka Microsoft at Work for Handhelds


Picture courtesy of the Beta Archive

For everyone who loves or hates the iPad name, know that Microsoft did it first. In the early 1990s, the company was at work on products based on the alpha versions of the Windows CE embedded OS that underlies much of what you'll see in this slideshow. One effort was known as WinPad; the Beta Archive has a treasure trove of screenshots of a PDA-like operating system, which are interesting to compare to Newton OS (under development at the same time) and Palm OS (which wouldn't emerge until a year or so later).

WinPad's trail is pretty cold, with only a few screenshots like these to prove that it ever existed. If this article from late 1994 has it right, the OS was to be rebranded with the much more typically corporate-clunky name Microsoft at Work for Handhelds; the article also notes that "Microsoft recently admitted it has yet to complete code on WinPad," and, we assume, that code remains incomplete today.

See also: Businesses That Dumped Microsoft ... and Won

Next page: Windows for Pen Computing

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