Microsoft rebuffs calls for Windows Phone 7 tablets

Windows Phone will not be appearing on tablets, Microsoft has said.

Microsoft rebuffs calls for Windows Phone 7 tablets

Microsoft has made it abundantly clear that Windows 8 is being designed with tablets in mind, but many have still been hoping that Windows Phone 7 might also be ported to the devices.

Andy Lees, president of Windows Phone, told attendees of Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference that a lot of people have asked if the company is going to “produce a phone that is a tablet”.

We want people to be able to do the sorts of things that they expect on a PC on a tablet

“We view a tablet as a sort of PC,” he said. “We want people to be able to do the sorts of things that they expect on a PC on a tablet, things like networking to be able to connect to networks, and utilise networking tools, to get USB drives and plug them into the tablet, to be able to do things like printing, all of the things using Office, using all of the things you would expect from a PC and provide a hybrid about how you can do that with the tablet, as well.”

However, Lees said Microsoft was trying to move more of the full PC experience to phones. “You see if you looked at the update that we’re providing to Windows Phone this year, we include a new browser,” he noted. “It’s Internet Explorer 9. It’s the same technology that we have on the PC. It’s not similar. It’s the same. So, we can take the advantages that we provide on the PC and immediately leapfrog and provide those across different types of devices.”

Microsoft ecosystem

Despite pushing a divide between phones and PCs, Lees said all Microsoft devices will share the same “ecosystem”.

“We won’t have an ecosystem for PCs, and an ecosystem for phones, one for tablets. They’ll all come together,” he said.

He said 700 million devices were sold across the Microsoft ecosystem – PCs running its OS, handsets on Windows Phone, and the Xbox – and analyst firm IDC expects that to climb to one billion by next year.

“Notice how it’s additive; it’s not that this is about replacing the PC,” he said. “And that’s why our strategy is that these new form factors are within a single ecosystem and not new ecosystems themselves. Windows has always spanned different PC form factors. And with Windows 8 we’re going to take this to a whole new level including tablets.”

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