Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 and a 7” gap that needs to be filled

For a long time, Windows Phone users have speculated about the possibility of a Tablet based on the OS. It never happened, but even now, I’m left wondering if Windows Phone is the more capable and desirable portable computing experience.

Microsoft are on the cusp of releasing Windows 8 and with it we see the software giant plunging head first into the world of true mobile computing. They have dug in deep and hammered away at the core of Windows to enable new, mobile orientated computing experiences. At the same time we also have Windows Phone 8 getting ready for primetime. Windows Phone is now reaching its first major upgrade, and it's about to fully mature.

Given the right form factor it's an OS that could work better as a tablet than Windows 8, and here is why...

Microsoft has sought to enable Windows 8 to live on as a mobile operating system, going to great lengths to enable fast boot times along with extreme data and power savings. We now have the touch-friendly WinRT environment in which to run apps and access a marketplace experience. The move to a fully mobile OS is certainly around the corner, but Windows 8 will not be it, it has more weight to lose before that really happens as there remain some fundamental issues with Windows 8 as a mobile operating system. At the heart of Windows lays the control panel, take one look at it and compare it to its touch counterpart and you’ll see how far they need to go to bring Windows kicking and screaming to the world of touch. Using Windows 8 as a touch-only OS still requires occasional trips to the desktop.

The good old Windows Control Panel, lots and lots of options...

Built for touch but lacking many options

While I don’t mind it too much (only because as a long time Windows user) I expect to do things in the desktop environment. Until the need to go to a desktop is removed by providing enough core functionality to be accessed all from WinRT, the desktop will persist as an essential part of the OS. Until we see versions of Office that run as touch-only MX variants (opens in new tab) the desktop is where we will need to go to use the excellent productivity suite.

I happen to really like many things about Windows 8 and know that this version is a difficult first step, one that I think Microsoft have bravely taken.  Being a Windows guy, I’ll be the first in line when it comes to getting a Windows 8 based tablet, my reasons for that will be apparent later.


Voice Un-recognition?

One of the more surprising things about Windows 8 is there exists no built-in speech technology (something OSX Mountain Lion just introduced). Sure, hidden in the depths of classic Windows lives some speech recognition software, but this is not anything like TellMe in Windows Phone. It's an application you can train to understand your voice and use for dictation and offers some verbal control over the computer, and is quite good, but it's not in the same spirit as Tellme.

Windows Phone 7.5 upon pressing and holding the Windows key will produce a myriad of speech-driven options. Call a person, find something, open an app, send a text and some other fancy stuff. Even the Xbox 360 (opens in new tab) has Tellme built in, but omitted it from Windows 8, that seems odd considering Tellme was touted to be included at one point. Typing on glass is acceptable, but being able to speak to your computing device where it makes sense can be both powerful and compelling part of a mobile experience.

Windows Phone 8 will be expanding that speech functionality even further. Question is, if Microsoft wanted Windows 8 to be a mobile OS why isn’t its core speech technology front and centre? We would presume that tablet users might like to use their device in a car. Without speech built into the DNA of the OS, it will mean applications that use speech will do so independently rather than fully integrated, system wide experiences. Scenarios like verbally replying to an email, launching a location specific app or finding something close to you for instance. These situations simply will not be possible with Windows 8 unless there is an app created to mimic those functions. It seems a glaring omission from an otherwise capable mobile OS. Could TellMe functionality be coming later? Doubtful but it is a possibility.


Telephony support

The tablet/mobile line is drawn most notably when you look at Windows 8 mobile credentials, it simply has no inherent ability to make and receive calls. Microsoft, quite rightly don’t have any form of dialer or mobile phone functions in Windows 8 other than its ability to use a mobile data package. That functionality has been left to Windows Phone, which along with its integrated speech technology allows someone to say “Call Mum Mobile” forcing the phone to look up your contacts and dial a number. As a general rule most of us wouldn’t choose to use our tablet as a phone per se, but if the tablet had that core experience at its heart it could be useful in some situations.

As Windows Phone users, we have effectively been using a superior version of Windows 8 for a while now. The UI on Windows Phone is beautiful, making it the winner of design awards and loved by those with an eye for typography. Windows 8 has elements of those ideas but its a very distant cousin.  There are so many bizarre UI decisions in Windows 8, it’s hard to know where to start, but having to swipe up to simply reveal basic controls to move emails, mark as unread or sync/refresh doesn’t feel quick or intuitive as it should be. That could change, the core apps are still in flux so there is hope, as it stands many of the functions of apps and the OS itself keep themselves hidden. At times this leads to real confusion or simply more swiping and pressing to get stuff done. Many of Windows Phone's core app user experiences remain head and shoulders above Windows 8. Perhaps the premise of one-handed use leads to some better design choices.

Its a clean UI, but why the need to swipe up to reveal common buttons?

Windows Phone Visible Buttons for Common tasks

Common buttons are show in Windows Phone.


WP8 Offers Exciting New specifications

Windows Phone 8 is just around the corner and with it come some new hardware and possibly new form factors. At the top-end, WP8 will be able to support a maximum screen resolution of 1280 x 720.  The Lenovo-X200 I’m running windows 8 on has a maximum screen resolution of 1280x800 on its 12” screen.  WP8 will also be fully multi-core CPU aware, meaning dual cores will be standard. A high-end WP8 device could potentially be more powerful than my laptop.

Along with all the reasons why Windows 8 isn’t a fully mobile OS, there are heaps of reasons why Windows Phone 8 can still have a crack at being a tablet OS. WP8 will have a ready-made catalogue of applications, 100,000 to be exact. Its going to have an advanced version of Tellme technology along with NFC and some fancy new Direct X gaming technology.

At present, we are seeing signs of life with Windows 8 tablets. The Surface tablet looks stunning and Lenovo are just now airing their Thinkpad 2 designs. Whilst these are good-looking devices, they are going to come with a heap of caveats. The first is cost. For the truly all singing and dancing Intel based versions they are not going to be cheap. Secondly, there is still much we don’t know about performance and battery time. It's unlikely to be as thrifty with power as WP8. Thirdly, that 10” starting size might not be the sweet spot for tablets. We are seeing giant phones from Samsung, fitting somewhere in between tablets and phones and consumers are buying them.

WP Central


There is a 7” gap where a Windows Phone tablet could thrive

The Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire represent that new middle ground in portability, Windows 8 tablets wont reach that form factor, at least not yet. I see this size as a clear win for a Windows Phone tablet. So, will we see mini tablets based on Windows Phone 8? I certainly hope so, there are plenty of reasons I don’t want my tablet experience to mean mind numbing flip flops between WinRT and Windows Explorer.

Whilst many of us will be getting a Surface tablet, it will be to replace a laptop not my iPad. There is a huge gaping hole for a device that can be used to watch movies on planes, provide a huge display for in car navigation and importantly respond to voice commands. Windows Phone 8 could and should at least try to fill this gap, it’s a market still in flux and one not yet occupied by the iPad.

The question remains, will Microsoft even allow vendors the chance to make these mini tablets? By allowing Nokia or Samsung to make a 7” Windows Phone, will they upset the waters of their fledgling Windows 8 tablets? Making a Windows Phone tablet could really upset the balance of how people perceive both Windows Phone and Windows 8.

Merely a concept

We have seen a little slide from Nokia showing some potential new form factors for Windows Phone, many have drooled over the notion of a Lumia tablet. If Nokia did make a tablet, why would it run the distinctly non-phone orientated Windows 8? Nokia would surely like to play to their advantages with a true mobile OS, not jump into the PC making game. They have great relationships with mobile operators, they understand what it means to be mobile. If a Lumia tablet were a real prospect, wouldn’t it just be better if it ran Windows Phone? It would then have all the advantages that the phone OS brings and comes in a handy 7” package.

The prospect of a 7” device running Windows Phone 8 is certainly appealing. But what do you think? Will one of Microsoft's partners make one? Would Microsoft allow it? Would you buy one or stick to getting a Wi-Fi Only Surface? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

  • Can't wait get a new windows phone 8 and windows 8 pro tablet :-P
  • the lenova think pad 2 has sim slots
  • Right, for data...
  • Win7 has a built in dialer, with the right extension card in your notebook it is possible to do phone calls...
  • I would get 7" wp8 device instantly were it priced right. I was hoping for something like it to come from the partnership with Barnes and noble, but nothing yet. Surface will cost too much for me I'm sure, and I want to get a 7" device badly. It appears Apple has one on the way, and the nexus looks great too. Just waiting on the iPad mini to compare against. If ms would release a WP8 7" it would be great, it would get my money for sure!
  • Agree.  While the Surface is not my purchasing roadmap, I am definitely eager to see what the 7" iPad will look like and how it will be priced; and if priced right, I will definitely purchase it. 
    Nonetheless, I think if Microsoft released a 7" tablet, before the other oems, I think that it would definitely sell well especially if the styling/aesthetic was attractive as the Surface. 
    Surface Mini....
  • I dont understand why Microsoft didn't released a tablet based on wp7 in 2011. They had 2 years to wait for win8. From what I understand from this article, a wp8 tablet is still relevant today ... Let's cross our fingers.
  • 800x480 at 7"? Yikes.
  • Um, not with WP8.
  • Personally 7" devices to me would be best for Windows 8 ARM. Basically I would use that device to surf the web, ereader and play games. Because of this use I would not want to pay a mobile contract, but instead have a data only contract or use a lte usb connection.
  • I'm actually waiting for a 7-8" RT device.  I listen to lots of podcasts, and there seems to be a general concensus that the 7-8" size if a preferable form factor for a consumption device, as in "even better than the 10" iPad".  So my family of perfect devices would be a 4" WP8, 7-8" WinRT, and 10-11" Win8. 
  • 7" ok.
    But I'd be fine with a 5.5 Galaxy Note WP8-Edition.
    That would suite ALL my needs. That's a pretty large size there. And yes it would be awkward to hold up to your head as a phone but the capability is there (plus if you're going with this form factor, invest in bluetooth). As a mini-tablet, it works!. 7" is like an e-reader and I'd skip that just to go for a 10" tablet like the Surface. I think 7" is an area where we as a customer can't really grasp on a marketable level yet. Yes the e-readers have that area pretty locked down but they are a niche task-specific product. 10" tablets and 4.0 - 5.5 inch mobile phones are the sweet spots imho.
  • I agree completely.
    I think the 7" tablet form factor is actually a super-sized phone minus the cell chip and voice/ear mic/speaker. 
    In light of that idea, I'd like to see something more in the form of a super-sized Galaxy Note, around 6". 
  • Also agree. 5.5-6" would turn it into a great portable ebook reader. Ideal for strap hanging on subways, trains, and buses. 7" would be nice, but using it as a phone would be difficult.
  • Great article. Perfectly sums up the strengths and weaknesses of the Microsoft ecosystem. Well done :-)
  • +1
  • +1
  • I believe the minimum size a Windows 8 tablet must be is 7", so hopefully we'll see a 7" tablet at some point. I personally don't care for 7" tablets (and I've been using a Kindle Fire for the better part of the past year), so I'm not interested in any way.
  • Oh, and yes, the setting stuff desperately needs to be fixed, and fixed quickly. I expect within 6 months of release, you won't ever have to go to the desktop if you don't want to.
  • +1
  • I agree about some of the weird design decisions on Windows 8 compared to windows phone, including the buttons which, as you've said, are hidden. I also don't quite understand why every tile is a different color, it makes the design look much more clumsy and much less elegant than that of Windows Phone. However, I cannot agree with you about Windows Phone tablets. It's exactly what Apple did with the iPad, taking a mobile OS and putting it on a tablet, but the apps were problematic at first and it didn't really have any use of it's own. You write, towards the end of your article, that "Whilst many of us will be getting a Surface tablet, it will be to replace a laptop not my iPad. There is a huge gaping hole for a device that can be used to watch movies on planes, provide a huge display for in car navigation and importantly respond to voice commands. Windows Phone 8 could and should at least try to fill this gap, it’s a market still in flux and one not yet occupied by the iPad." Windows 8 is meant to replace both, and it can do it perfectly fine, why couldn't you watch a movie on your surface while on the plane? It's essentially the same as watching it on an iPad, they're both tablets. Why couldn't you use Windows 8 as a navigation tool? It's exactly the same as an iPad in that respect, it has maps and directions and who knows, maybe Microsoft is going to add voice command to the OS by the time it's released. I think most of the problems you've described here stem from your perception of your different devices' roles. You still perceive the tablet as a media consumption device, which it is, on some level, but Microsoft is expanding on that by allowing it to also be productive. You make a clear differentiation between PC and tablet which Microsoft is trying to get rid of, albeit with some issues here and there (e.g. Control Panel). I do think that Windows 8 is a transition, but I do believe that in scenarios where one decides to steer clear from the desktop environment, (e.g. to watch movies), it will not be as disturbing as you imagine it would be, and in scenarios where one decides to stay on the desktop, well, it will be a PC.
  • I totally agree with you.  I kind of think that he doesn't really know the difference.  There will be no reason for a middle of the road device because windows 8 will do what you need.  When you are in the start screen you are using a tablet.  The only difference is that you can turn that nifty tablet into a pc if needed...   I don't see Apple doing that.
    As far as TellMe.. didn't I hear somewhere that all of these features are coming to bing?  I'm almost positive they will be incorporated into Win 8
  • MarcXW, thanks for your reply, really enjoyed reading it, sorry for late reply. In my article, I write about the usefulness of a 7” device with full mobile features. In answer to your question Why couldn’t I use a Windows 7 device as a navigation option. I could, of course, but I would need a 3G modem/connection (unless I wanted to stay offline the whole time). Surface for instance is said to be modem free.. It would mean an additional device, and an additional connection (not ideal) As I mentioned in my article, TellMe is not baked into Windows 8. If it were then much of my concern would evaporate. Windows 8 tablets will be starting at 10” – that’s too big for in car navigation, I’d like 7”. Also, as I mentioned, I’m really looking forward to Windows 8, but its going to get occasional tablet use but a heck of allot of use as a full featured productivity device. I happen to love the idea of a dual use device. My case is centred around the usefulness of a large WP8 device. A device that has mobile data, voice functionality and speech recognition at its heart.  RB
  • Yeah no tell me features that sucks on Win8.
  • (deleted a lot of text)
    Frankly it seems you have not even used a Windows 8 tablet. Did you? The article reads more like an uninformed analist.
    I did (Acer W500) next to Tab/iPads. Windows 8 feels like it's made for a tablet. WP7/8 is not. Tab/iPad replace by Surface RT? Of course, it has a so much better UI as well as the killer feature: Multi user support. To me multi user has become a requirement. Windows 8 delivers.
    And Windows 8 will fit a 7" as well. Surface mini should therefore run Windows 8.
  • If smartphones cost $600 and 7" tablets are going for $200 how's a 7" smatphone going to compete with the 7" tablet offerings?
  • You have a real good point!!!
    I think nothing on the Windows side can compete with a $200 tablet! Or Microsoft has to do it them self but in that case they will undermine their hardware partners because they will have to bring it on the market on a price lower then any of their partners can bring it.
  • I personally love how you can be in full-fledged tablet mode one minute, then be in productive-PC mode the next. The best of both worlds.
  • +1
  • I remembered the Courier the other day. It looked like a great concept for a mobile device that you actually can do work on, with one screen to display information and the other for working with it. It got me thinking that the follow-up could be a system where phone and tablet work seamlessly and you simply can flick items between the devices. I think the limited ability to easily work simultaneously in multiple applications is something that limits touch devices, and still needs a lot of work.
  • I got a bit carried away in speculation there. I agree that a 7" tablet is an appealing format ( which could work in the mentioned concept), but I'm not sure it needs to run WP, but it would be great if they interacted like that. Windows 8 doesn't have the same preset resolution limits as WP, so I'm hoping someone will make a small one with full HD resolution to put the display in the same range as Apple's devices.
  • What would be cool is if the "NewCo" company formed by B&N Nook division and partially funded by Microsoft would address this segment with a Windows based tablet.  Sofar we've heard diddly about their plans or even what the company's actual name will be.  I always thought that B&N brick-n-mortar would be a great alternative to Microsoft's own stores that it is slowly building least for the specific market segment that these 7" devices would appeal to.
    Imo, Speach is coming...I'm fairly certain we will see annual updates coming to Windows to add functionality and/or address common usability issues.
  • Wow didn't expect to see an article like this on WPCentral. It's missing the ball. There's no way in héll the iPad is going to be better than win8
  • I completely disagree with windows 8 not being a compeltely mobile OS. The fact that you have to swipe up to get many of the common options is actually to ha e more screen real estate available to the user and I think its a great choice because swiping up while holding a tablet is very intuitive and easy. I am very glad that windows phone did not become A tablet OS not because it would not be Great but because windows 8 rt and windows 8 pro will be much better
  • Great comment MarcXW. The article makes valid points, but really comes off as if reaching to find faults. Voice controls are not reasonable in crowded areas or close spaces where privacy is needed. Cellular capabilities need to remain an option because not everyone is looking to add another cost. Where I do agree with Richard is on form factor. I love the 7 inch form factor and feel many of those who dismiss it are ignoring the most important target for the tablet and that is ages 7-18. This is the generation who will truly make and break all of these companies, including Apple. The 7 inch form factor allows the tablet to fit in their hands perfectly while remaining transportable in purses and backpacks. I bought a 7 in Acer 100 for my 8 yr old. She and her brother love it to the point their mom takes it as her own a lot. It doesn't have cellular service but looks and sounds great using Skype and other wi-fi calling technologies.
  • I'd take a 7 inch tablet running WP8!!!
  • The problem for me is that you will essentially have 2 OSes running on tablets for microsoft.  I think WP8 could work well on a 7" tablet but even though it is similar to W8 they still have many differences that you've noted.  With apple and android, its the same OS on their big and 7" tablets.  If what you say were to happen we'd have the surface running W8 then a 7-incher running WP8.  I believe MS would rather perfect W8 first before going smaller.  And what about using MS office? would it be the RT version or the phone version?  I would rather see MS keep working on W8 so i don't have to go to desktop mode in order to complete specific tasks. Then, go smaller
  • Good analysis but a little lacking. I think Microsoft has played it smart this time. They're trying to secure their future as it is obvious that our current way of "PC functioning" is slowly going to go away. Mobility is the future for all computing now really (hence the advent of ultrabooks and transformer-like tablets) and Microsoft wants to capitalize on this. They've offered a bold transition into the mobile space with Windows 8 - it offers the best of both worlds. You say it won't replace your iPad - I beg to differ? For those who want a Windows Phone like tablet experience, there is nothing better and you can do some computing on it when you need to. Its really one device instead of one, how on earth is that a bad deal? You are just being rigid and narrow in this sense. Moreover, scaling up a mobile OS is a little limited (even if it does have obvious pros) as Microsoft would have had to go the Android route (which isn't going very well, by the way) and wait on devs to scale up their existing apps for the tablets. Google, with close to 500,000 is having trouble doing that, what makes you think MS (with 100,000 apps)won't? Moreover, iPad outdoes anything with a scaled up mobile OS and by putting Win8 on their tablets, they have one up on the iPad since it is miserable at getting any real work done. Interesting concept but a little short on vision for me. Great article anyway.
  • exactly
  • I can't imagine how confusing it'd be to people if their 7" Windows tablet doesn't run the same apps as their 10" Windows tablet.
  • right lol
  • First off, I would certainly like to see some 7inch tablets, either with WP8 or with W8.  But overall, I think W8 will be that future.  This article makes the mention that W8 isn't suited well for mobile because you have to flip between metro and desktop.  I don't hold that view.  I think it would be easy to stick with metro when you just want to use touch, and desktop when you want to use mouse/keyboard.  So for that reason, I think W8 really is the ideal future because you get both.  Your device can be mobile when you want, and productive when you need it to be.
  • Something the iPad cannot do.
  • Microsoft has had true mobile computing for at least 12 years. This latest push has more to do with the trend towards touch interfaces and media/game consumption than mobile computing.
  • The 5"-7" tablets should be media consumption tablets. An Xbox Surface or B&N Nook running Windows RT or Windows PRT would be a good idea for the 7" form factor. The desktop app shouldn't be present on these devices and a custom UI different from Windows 8 should be possible.
  • I think we'll see a B&N nook tablet running some form of windows in the 7in space.  Rather or not it's WP8 or WindowsRT it's all good to me.  If such a tablet were to appear before the release of the SurfaceRT I'd be all for it.  Or, some one could just come up with a way to put WindowsRT on my BB Playbook. :D
  • hi from Greece. i don't think 7 inch devices are good. You either aim for:   A. portability in which case the maximum should be around 5-5.5 inches (and that provided a very thin bezel) or  B. media consumption, in which case 10 inches is ideal, or C. productivity in which case a minimum of 13 inches.   Case A windows phone, case B windows RT, case C windows 8 pro.  (having said that i clearly believe the Surface for Windows 8 pro should had been given a larger screen, can anyone seriously do work on a 10 inch screen? surely not, it would be bad for the eyes)   fdfd   
  • There is a mini HDMI for use when productivity is needed. I have a 15" laptop that is not big enough for working comfort of my eyes. I connect a larger monitor.
  • And when you do actually play with a Windows 8 tablet, try picture password, use multiple accounts and try the Tweetro tweeter app. Then come back and write the article again.   Send from my Acer W500 tablet running Windows 8
  • I was wondering the same thing. I thought some of the "missing" features mentioned, MS said said was integrated.
  •   You think picture password and Tweetro would change my mind about a 7” WindowsPhone mini tablet? Im not sure what your point is. RB 
  • Dictation in Vista bests Tellme by a long shot (I don't know about dictation in Win 7 or 8). Tellme is for short commands. Dictation in Windows is what is required to compose emails or Word docs. I agree that both should be included in Win8 / WinRT.
  • I'm sure that the romored Xbox Surface will be the 7" consumption tablet.
  • There are a lot of design problems the are inconsistent with the WP7.X design, such as the buttons as mentioned, but the live tiles just feel weird compared to the ones on WP. One example is the people tile on Win8 RP, it does t dynamically flip small tiles but rather pans an image with different contacts, very cheap feeling imo.
    that said, I've been running it as my main on my HP tm2, so I've been able to test everything,and it is very fluid, like WP7 and the desktop UI argument not being touch friendly is overrated, if anything the problem I have is the inconsistency of flow rather than touch UI issues.
  • Obviously Windows 8 in a frst step into a whole new world for MS.  In order to maintain as much of their current customer base as possible they have to keep the desktop....for now..  I believe depending on how well received Win 8 is by the public will be the driving factor in determining the next step.  I'm hoping that by then, we will be able to ditch the desktop that we've all come to know and adore lol
  • And MS is already talking W9. So I read.
  • I want the webos feature where u tap and go to grab a website or something to ur phone
  • The author is wrong - period. Windows Phone needs to remain a PHONE and RT needs to fill the new and emerging tablet market - even for 7" tablets!
    Why? Because it would confuse developers and users alike, not unite them.
    And as far as the 100k WP apps? They are WP7 apps, not WP8, W8 or RT apps.
  • I agree. How to scale wp8 apps to 7"? MS critically needs devs to jump aboard writing apps for their fledgling platforms, wp8 & w8. Imagine having in essence a third segment - wp8 apps optimized for bigger screen - added to the mix. (Plus as a wp7.x user i'm hoping i'd still get some new app dev and updates.) I do like the idea of 7" winRT tablet, without legacy desktop support. Also the lumia tab concept looks sweet!
  • A lot of people have mentioned customer confusion. As PG2G said, It would be confusing to have the apps that work on your 7" not work on your 10". It would also mean Microsoft would need to update two similar OSes. I think they should perfect W8.
  • Excellent article. I agree a 7" tab running WP8 is very appealing but MS are on the money by designing a surface which can ably handle intensive graphic and audio programmes that an iPad could not. Best of both worlds.
  • They need to open up the Windows RT desktop to 3rd P, if they don't it's the same crap as buying an iPad. In time, the metro part on everything Win8 needs to open up, EU will demand it.
  • I can't wait to get one of this things.. Im ready to move on
    Suface/4.7 inch Nokia or Samsung,super loaded.. Off course you have to go big with w8.. It don't make sense to have a small screen with all the tiles I want on my home screen..
  • Microsoft wouldn't of used WP OS simply because they wanted the surface to be an  hybrid. They wanted a tablet/PC not a tablet/Phone. And they also already have plans in place for a 7 inch tablet and it's called the W8 Nook.
  • I really like the idea of a cheap windows phone 8 tablet. The only thing i would want to add would be horizantal support for the tablet. I would easly drop 200-250$ for a tablet like this. I would like and hopefully see this with windwos phone 8 are more advanced apps!
  •   That’s a good point but the 7” form factor lends itself much more to being portrait than bigger sizes. MS should have made the whole UI rotate on any form factor in any case. RB
  • You guys must not know about Microsoft Lync which is the smoothest video/messenger service out there. Put that on any Tablet and you have a winner.
  • Yep, love it. Especially Lync 2013. OneNote MX is very cool too.
  • Actually WP8 will do 1280x768, which is 16:9.6, and probably the ideal aspect ratio.  I do not like 16:9 on my phone.
  • A Nokia tablet would definitely set them in a great place.
  • I'm sorry, but why would you want a mobile OS on a tablet when you have an OS built for touch that is far more capable, did I miss something?
  •   Consider for one moment trying to touch all those little targets in the Office applications with your finger on a 7” device. The desktop isn’t going anywhere on WinRT tablets. RB
  • Oh and im pretty sure there won't be any flipping to windows explorer while running WinRT.
  • That would be exactly what I want. I'd buy it immediately.
  • When you buy a 7" WinRT tablet there is no need to enter the desktop because it doesn't even exist. Only office will launch in desktop mode but there is no way to manually enter it... at least that's how I understood it.
  •   You can get to your desktop any time on WinRT tablets too, that’s where folks will be doing all the essential, no replicable in WinRT stuff. There is no 7” WinRT tablet, they start at 10” right now. RB
  • I think the major mistake in Window 8 is that they didn't remove the Desktop. You shouldn't be able to just launch it. Wouldn't it be better to launch a desktop program like a normal Metro App? For instance: To have Desktop Programm 1, Desktop Programm 2 and Metro App 1, Metro App 2 listed on the left side App-Switcher Bar. So you could change between all your programs and apps the same way. We don't need the Desktop Taskbar anymore, do we? Feel welcome to comment ;-)
  • I agree. The user should have never been given the choice. Let the OS handle everything. Tap the tile and the OS knows which space to run it. I think it is going to be frustrating for average users to switch back and forth. W8 is going to be great for older users to see because of the larger tiles. But confusing for them when they want to use a desktop app.
  •   I totally agree with you, it would have be far more preferable to keep those office apps running as a faux app rather than summon the full explorer. Fact is MS have miles to go until they can bulk out the WinRT controls to allow us to live only in the “Modern UI”. It’s a painful halfway house we’ll have to endure. Either MS quickly update WinRT to give same levels of control as Classic desktop or we’re stuck until the next major release of Windows to fix all this. Quick rapid updates will obviate need to wait until next major release. MS doesn’t have a good track record on adding features into quickly into their OS though… RB
  • If Microsoft can hit up a deal with carriers by leveraging skype as a phone option, that could be very powerful.
  • Wp8 will be able to playback both 720 & 1080p x264 movies? That would be a game breaker for me in terms of what I would prefer on a tablet
  •   Right, that’s a good point. I’m sure h/w acceleration will be part of video playback, 720 playback shouldn’t be an issue. RB
  • Hoping for a Nokia 7 inch tablet that can be used as a device for rounding on patients in the hospital.  10 inch is too cumbersome.  Currently using the Ipad with EPIC EMR via wireless signal and it's a pain to lug around (Fn keys are also not operational).  Would rather have something that's Kindle Fire-esque in size with an attachable KEYBOARD and Fn keys activated.  MICROSOFT...  you have a major opportunity here in the health care sector.  Do it right.
  • We don't need 7"tablets at all that would take away from windows phone sells
  •   Sure, but my point is, I want those 7” mini tablets to be Windows Phone. RB
  • This is a joke, right?!?  I have been running Windows 8 on a Dell Windows Tablet for several months now.  Not only will a Windows Phone UI sell the device short - but it will never be able to compete with the iPad or Android devices (10 inch, 7 inch or other).
    Perhaps, moving from a 10'' tablet to a 7'' tablet - you come up with a version that lets the customer pick the UI; either WP or W8?  That way, if someone wants an AT&T Galaxy Note sort of device, they can have one.
    Or you can let that door knob running Acer decide.  After all, he knows what best for Microsoft and the marketplace when it comes to tablets. Ha!
  • I plan to get a Surface as a tablet, not to replace my (newly bought) Vaio laptop, that I plan to also install Windows 8 on.
    And I like the idea, but I'm afraid there are limitations to using a mobile OS for a tablet, and I think if this idea will happen, it will almost certainly be a version of Windows RT that is used.
  • I think we are missing another route to take. For me, a small wp8 phone of 4" is fine if it can be wirelessly linked to glasses that give a large view of the screen. Then speech UI can be used [or in air gestures read by the facing camera] to browse the internet and read articles, and utilize the off line navigation that Nokia uses [and I use a lot in places I have no data or even phone connections]. I already use bluetooth stereo headphones for listening to music when riding my motorcycle or bicycle, and for voice navigation. If I have wireless glasses that can carry enough badnwidth to let me watch videos on a plane or train, that would be great. And I still would have a phone that fits in my pouch and is easy to phone and inform me of my meetings and to-dos.