We're starting to see a resurgence in planned Windows 7-based tablets, with the latest entry belonging to MSI. After putting on display its WindPad 100 tablet at Computex, the company has gone and released a bunch of press images into the wild, indicating that it's moved past the prototype stage.
In addition to Windows 7, the WindPad 100 struts into the tablet scene with a 10.1-inch display, Intel Atom Z530 processor, 2GB of RAM, and 32GB SSD. According to the press images, a dock will add two USB 2.0 ports, audio jacks, LAN, VGA, and an HDMI port.
Initially, MSI was talking up a $500 price point, but that was months ago and nothing has yet been made official.
While Microsoft's dominance in desktop computing is indubitable, its software has found few takers in the increasingly lucrative mobile and embedded device market. Just as it is planning to turn over a new leaf with its all new Windows Phone 7 operating system, it needs an embedded operating system that can wipe out whatever little recollection people might have of its Windows Embedded CE operating system.
Microsoft does have a successor to Windows CE, and it is called Windows Embedded Compact 7. The Redmond-based company is showcasing many tablets and slates running its latest embedded OS at Computex 2010 in Taipei. It has also released the public community technology preview (CTP) for Windows Embedded Compact 7, which is available online as a trial download.
Many companies are showcasing their upcoming tablets at Computex 2010. The event has shown that tablet makers are not adverse to their tablets or slates running a full featured version of Windows 7, with the recently announced MSI WindPad and ASUS Eee Pad being the most prominent examples. However, Windows 7 is only compatible with x86-based tablets and tablet makers have no choice but to opt for some other operating system – in most cases Android - for such devices.
On the other hand, Windows Embedded Compact 7 can also run on ARM-based devices. So a stellar embedded OS will only enhance Microsoft's chances of success in the tablet market.