Was Steve B Right In Killing The Courier?

The delaying of NoDo did not come as close to the news of the Kinning of the revolutionary Courier tablet. That was heartbreaking. In a post last week, Fortune asked the question whether Steve B was off base in his deicision. The article says Microsoft believes in Windows everywhere and that was a reason why the Courier was kinned.

Today being 1st April (of all days) Rafael and Thurrott posted what they claim is a screenshot of the Windows 8 logon screen. No surprises, it’s Metro inspired and just like the Windows Phone 7 lock screen. Here’s the screenshot:

Ever since WP7 came out one of the comments everyone keeps making is, “why doesn’t MSFT do a tablet with Windows Phone 7 OS?” I’ve written quite a bit about Windows 8 and tablet, a recap:

Windows 8 and tablet expected specs as per leaked documents:

Thoughts on the dual UI rumors of Windows 8:

  • Windows 8 32 bit – focused for netbooks & tablets; touch friendly OS with bigger icons, text etc.
  • Windows 8 64 bit – for the more powerful and capable desktops.

Instant-ON in Windows 8:

In the leaked documents, Microsoft mentions that one of their targets for Windows 8 is to get to Instant-ON. This is particularly for tablet computers or Lap PCs. To be clear, Instant-ON will be the device resuming from 0W instantly and not a cold boot.

And the slides that had a lot of info on tablets in Windows 8:

Now one of the reasons why Microsoft might want to have Windows for the tablets is enterprise:

The features listed in the slides are all present in Windows. Microsoft spends considerable time and effort on Windows, now introducing these features in another platform and have a different UI, sounds like an extra effort. Quite a bit of it. This would explain why Microsoft continues to foster dreams of having Windows – the desktop version, on tablets. Same set of features, keeps enterprise administrators happy and Microsoft doesn’t need to invest in another platform.

All of this brings me to if Steve Ballmer just played a genius stroke by kinning the Courier and making Windows 8 have a Windows Phone 7 inspired Metro UI for the tablets. The two important problems with Windows on a tablet right now for me are:

  1. Battery life
  2. UX/UI

If Sinofsky’s team is able to ensure Windows 8 having battery life of around 8 to 10 hours with the Metro UI, most of the tech press should be happy at the same time Microsoft can ensure application compatibility. We’ve seen when Microsoft says app compatibility they actually mean it.

For what it’s worth, Steve B might pull off another stunner!

I wrote earlier about Silverlight being what will keep Windows relevant after Windows 7 and since it is the WP7 coding platform it would make for an awesome strategy now that the browser is used a lot more than desktop applications.

A proprietary development platform for mobile devices that expands to the desktop (in and out of the browser) will position Microsoft to maintain its dominance or at least be a formidable force.

That’s more info as to why I think this would be a great Microsoft strategy and even if the screenshot isn’t real, the Metro inspired Windows 8 is for real.