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

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

Page 6 of 9

Windows XP Tablet Edition

Wave of the future, honest

Picture courtesy Rubén Díaz Alonso

In 2002, when Windows XP was still a basically brand new desktop OS, Microsoft unveiled with much fanfare a version for tablets, a sort of souped-up, modernized version of Windows for Pen Computing. Complete with handwriting analysis and voice recognition, this OS seemed to have everything it needed to power fully-featured computers that also happened to be tablets.

But things didn't work out that way. The hardware for these machines often turned out to be underpowered and too warm for comfortable lap use. Despite the nods to other forms of input, Windows XP remains in essence a mouse-and-keyboard driven OS. And, in a recent New York Times op-ed, Dick Brass, who spearheaded the Tablet PC initiative, claimed that he was undermined in various ways by internal Microsoft politics; for instance, he claims the Office group's VP refused to modify the all-important office suite so that it would work more naturally with pen-based input.

Windows XP for Tablet Edition saw a refresh in 2005, but the absence of Windows 7 Tablet Edition pretty much tells you what you need to know about Microsoft's current dedication to the project.

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

Next page: Portable Media Center

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