One Microsoft director is laughing at the newly announced Apple iPad for being more of a closed ecosystem than Windows products, but that’s not the only way that Redmond is beating its competition to the punch in touch computing.
Brandon Watson, Director of Product Management for Microsoft’s developer platform is quoted as saying, “It is a humorous world in how Microsoft is much more open than Apple.” While both have their own proprietary platforms and programming languages, he might just be right.
The fact that Apple based the iPad on its iPhone operating system means that the company will be keeping the same chokehold on which applications come to the device as the iTunes App Store. That means that anyone that creates an application duplicate any Apple functionality or contains off-color humor is likely to be shunned from the iPad.
There are a lot of other limitations that come along with the iPad. In addition, the Web browsing experience using Apple’s mobile browser on the iPad will lack Flash, browser plugins and a number of other features that you would expect from a desktop operating system.
And that’s precisely how Microsoft is differentiating itself from the touch tablet systems about to be released by both Apple and Google. While Apple and Google are building mobile operating systems and application ecosystems from scratch, Microsoft’s Windows 7 is ready to go and far more capable than any of the others to date.
Not to mention the fact that you can go out and buy a Windows 7 touch tablet today. Sure, there will be a lot more tablets on the market in a few months for every side, but getting ahead of the touch computing revolution might give Microsoft back its edge in the desktop and tablet market.
Between Windows 7’s touch features and the debacle that was Windows Vista, Microsoft is seeing a nice lift in people upgrading as well as its bottom line. Even though Apple has had the biggest launch event to date, it’s important to remember that the touch tablet wars are just getting started.