CES: Buying a Tablet? Wait Until Spring (or Later)

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What About Microsoft?

We’ll see a version of Windows designed to run on more mobile-centric hardware, but we won’t see it for quite some time. Microsoft announced that it’s developing the next version of Windows to run on ARM-based chips similar to the ones found in some tablets and cell phones nowadays. We won’t see anything this year, though.

Microsoft’s Windows 7 operating system will instead be present on certain tablets running Intel’s netbook-specific Atom processors and perhaps AMD’s Fusion platform. Certain hardware manufacturers will create custom touch-friendly interfaces overlaid atop Windows, but the end result will still be little more than an operating system meant for notebooks and desktops rejiggered for tablets. Battery life will be a little too short, the systems will run a little too slowly, and the entire experience will feel a little too forced. (More on Techland: CES: What’s Next for Microsoft?)

Microsoft’s doing the right thing by developing its next version of Windows to run harmoniously on both full computing hardware and more mobile-friendly hardware but, again, it’s going to take a while to get to market.

Wait Until April

If you’re looking for a tablet, I’d advise that you at least wait until April. By then, we’ll know which systems will be available and how much they’ll cost. Apple will likely have announced the iPad 2, HP will be gearing up to launch its Palm Pad (or whatever it’ll be called) and the BlackBerry Playbook ought to be in full swing. We’ll have plenty of super cool Android tablets, too.

More on Techland:

10 Mac Store Apps To Get You Started

The Tech Letdowns of 2010 (and Their Silver Linings for 2011)

Top 25 Tech Fails of the Year

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