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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Windows for Pen Computing

When Microsoft began shipping real products for this form factor, they were based not on Windows CE, but instead on the contemporary desktop systems. Windows for Pen Computing 1.0 and 2.0 were sets of extensions for Windows 3.11 and Windows 95, respectively; you can get a brief glimpse of version 1.0 in the opening seconds of the video above, most of which focuses on AT&T's equally doomed offering.

Windows for Pen Computing 1.0 actually came with a physical stylus, and offered a pop-up on-screen keyboard (sound familiar?) and the hardware was really quite elegant for the times. Unfortunately, the transition from 1.0 to 2.0 wasn't easy, as this 1995 article in Pen Computing Magazine suggests. (Side note: There was a Pen Computing Magazine?) And pen computing itself never really took off, not least because of the absence of ubiquitous wireless, and the technology was allowed to die from lack of interest.

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

Next page: Palm-sized PCs and Handheld PCs

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