This morning, Windows Phone President Andy Lees explained why Microsoft didn’t move Windows Phone 7 up to tablets, as Apple did with the iPad and Google did with Android.”We view a tablet as a sort of PC. We want people to be able to do the sort of things they do on a PC on a tablet. Things like networking…to get USB drives and pop them into their tablets. To be able to do things like printing…using Office. All of the things that you can do on a PC.”
He also noted that Windows 8 will run on “systems on a chip” that an fit into a phone, and predicted that phones, tablets, and PCs would eventually merge into a “unified ecosystem”:
“Our strategy is that these new form factors are in a single ecosystem, and not new ecosystems itself.”
Reading between the lines, it sounds a lot like the release of Windows 8 (probably in 2012) will start the clock ticking on the end of the Windows Phone 7 platform. Once Microsoft has Windows 8 with a usable touch interface and running on ARM and other low-powered processors, there’s really no reason for the company to keep investing in a second phone-specific platform.