Could Microsoft have bought itself a Windows 7 tablet user interface?
Let me make this perfectly clear – this post is pure unadulterated speculation but one of the big problems that Microsoft could have when trying to bring a Windows 7 tablet to market is that the general opinion from the world of tech pundits is that releasing a default Windows 7 tablet would be a disaster for the company.
I know that Paul O’Flaherty, my colleague here at WinExtra, disagrees with me when I suggest that for Microsoft to have a successful Windows 7 based tablet it needs to come up with a unique consumer oriented user interface, like it has with Windows Phone 7. However one has to take the mindset of the general consumer marketplace when now looking to launch something like a tablet.
Apple has the first to market advantage here and in the process has set the perception of what a consumer based tablet is expected to look like. Android based tablets have only re-enforced that perception. It is this change in perception that is leaving Microsoft in a difficult position as all the talk so far has been that Windows 7 based tablet will ship with the default Windows 7 user interface, something that the general consumer may not want.
Now back in August I reported here about an interesting project by a company called UI Centric. The project was codenamed Macallan and in my opinion at the time was a user interface that could make for a very compelling tablet entry for Microsoft. I even went so far to suggest that Microsoft should seriously consider buying it up as quickly as they could.
Well it turns out, according to Engadget, that everything to do with Macallan has been pulled from the UI Centric website and the company has stated that the project has been cancelled. There is no explanation as to why but given that Microsoft is listed on their front page as one of their clients one has to wonder if Microsoft did indeed like what they saw, and bought the rights to the project.
Could this be the interface that we will see being sported by Windows 7 tablets in the near future?
Like I said above – this is pure speculation but damn it would be sweet if this was the case.