Linked by David Adams on Sun 20th Jun 2010 03:06 UTC, submitted by fran
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless Microsoft has Windows Mobile 6.x (on the way out) Windows Phone 7, Windows Embedded Standard 7, Windows Embedded Compact 7 and then Windows 7 for tablet PCs and netbooks. What this bevy of systems is missing is a coherent answer for the tablet form factor. Windows Embedded Compact 7, which is the OS aimed at the mobile sector, isn't yet released, and when it is, it won't have a uniform UI, but will depend on hardware vendors to customize. It's an appealing strategy from the vendors point of view, I guess because they get to differentiate their products from their competitors, but it's not a recipe for success.
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I think it is cool and yet simultaneous wish it death. It has less to do with market share and more to do with the fact that when Apple says jump everyone else follows. Let me elaborate:

When the iPhone came out, all the other smartphone makers jumped on the capacitive, keyboard-free bandwagon. Nowadays it's hard to get a smartphone in any other form factor. That sucks, particularly the lack of keyboard. I hate soft-keyboards, whether "magically" enhanced by Apple or not.

Same with the iPad: Now all the great netbook makers are, instead of coming out with innovative netbook ideas, channeling all their energies into creating iPad clones--keyboardless and capacitive. The capacitive aspect is especially annoying because it almost always means lack of stylus input--which is a crying shame on a device of that form factor.

Unfortunately, the manufacturers let style trump substance, a game Apple always wins--so the copycat manufacturers are really just shooting themselves in the foot. If they were to offer something with distinct advantages over the iPhone, while still maintaining a high degree of style, fit and finish, they would have a lot more takers.

A few trailblazers like Asus offer netbooks with multitouch and stylus support, and I applaud them. Unfortunately though their current line suffers from Windows 7 slowness and mediocre build quality, which has limited its uptake. But at least they keep innovating instead of just copying others.

Edited 2010-06-20 22:38 UTC

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