I want my tablet TV

Tablets Considering the well-earned skepticism that clings to Microsoft in the mobile arena the introduction yesterday of Windows Phone 7 (WinPho 7? WinPhoSev?) is getting very solid notices. But it didn’t do media producers any favors by optimizing the new mobile OS for smartphones at the expense of tablets. According to Microsoft, there are no current plans to port WinPho 7 to tablets. Instead, the company will continue trying to adapt full-blown Win 7 for the tablet form factor.

There may be sound strategic and technical reasons for Microsoft’s decision. It needs to get the mobile phone OS category right this time and trying to focus on tablets as well could be a distraction. It may also be, as Microsoft claims, that at some point in the future people really will want tablets that can run more PC-like applications than Apple’s iPad can support, requiring a bigger OS. But for media companies looking for an alternative to Apple-captivity in the tablet category today, it has to be disappointing news.

Admittedly, few expected the iPad to become the fastest selling CE product since the DVD player. But with tablet apps becoming a critical piece of any mobile media strategy, the lack of a clear tablet strategy from either Microsoft or Google should be a critical concern to media creators.

It’s all the more puzzling given Google and Microsoft’s own media ambitions. As I’ve discussed elsewhere (see also my white paper on Apple TV for GigaOM Pro), the iPad is positioned to be an important bridge technology for Apple in building a fully integrated, cloud-based in-home and mobile video ecosystem. Both Google and Microsoft have also launched major digital living-room initiatives, and they have clearly thought about mobile phone integration. But the lack of an obvious path to tablet integration is still a weakness from the point of view of potential content partners.

Further reading:

Business Leaders Weigh In on iPad’s Importance

Curious Ask: Will Windows Phone 7 Have Apps For That?