Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 platform was fashionably late to the smartphone party, but in the slate shindig, Microsoft’s Windows platform is just going to be late. Citing “people with knowledge” of Microsoft’s plans, Bloomberg reports there won’t be a truly tablet oriented version of Windows until 2012′s back-to-school season, leaving Google (Android) and Apple (iOS) to duke it out.
Those same sources, who declined to be identified, said that public testing of a new version of Windows will begin at the end of this year. In the meantime, Microsoft is trying to tweak Windows 7 with more features geared towards touch screens.
“if 2011 is the year of the tablet wars, Microsoft will be awfully late suiting up for that battle,” said Michael Gartenberg, an analyst with Gartner. “It’s not a good position to be in.”
Gartner’s right. By late 2012, you can expect Apple to be shipping its third generation iPad to go up agaisnt second and third generation Android devices. And it’s not just those two platforms Microsoft will be up against. There’s also RIM’s QNX and HP’s webOS platforms, all vying for tablet market share.