The Surface RT may be the first tablet in Microsoft’s history, but the Redmond-based company has actually planned such a device since the debut of Windows 7.
A report by ExtremeTech on the departure of Windows boss Steven Sinofsky claims that Microsoft actually wanted to develop a Windows 7 tablet. Sinofsky, however, didn’t agree with these plans.
Surprisingly, it all happened before Apple released its iPad, so Microsoft had a pretty good chance to get a huge advantage against its fruit-named rival.
“Ballmer had been frustrated by Sinofsky before. Microsoft partners apparently had a reference design for tablet hardware ready in time for Windows 7. Sources tell us that Sinofsky refused to add support for it in Windows 7,” ExtremeTech writes.
It turns out that Microsoft actually started work on the Surface in 2009, at about the same time when Windows 7 was receiving the last touches.
Still in early stages, Windows 8 was a much more ambitious project supposed to focus more on touch capabilities in order to also be released on a tablet.
It was actually the time when Sinofsky finally acknowledged that Microsoft needs to keep up with the other technology companies in the industry and innovate a little bit more by pushing Windows beyond the desktop universe.
What’s more, sources familiar with the matter are also hinting that Sinofsky was the one who insisted for the Start Screen, although Microsoft had expected the lack of a Start Menu to lead to an avalanche of criticism from confused users.
Given this report, it may seem like Steven Sinofsky was after all fired by CEO Steve Ballmer, but the reason is yet to be disclosed. If we are to trust all rumors, the growing tension between the two was indeed at fault, so Ballmer had no other choice than to change the head of the Windows division.