AT&T: Microsoft Needs to Use Windows Phone 7 in Tablets

Could there be a brouhaha a-brewing between AT&T Mobility and Microsoft Corp. over the burgeoning tablet sector?

According to InformationWeek, AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega wants Microsofts upcoming tablet computers to run on the Windows Phone 7 mobile operating system, rather than the clunkier desktop counterpart. But it seems Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is not on the same page.

As InformationWeek pointed out, Ballmer has spent much of this year promising to deliver tablets that run on the Windows 7 desktop OS.

“We’ve got the application base, we’ve got the user familiarity, we’ve got everything in our favor,” he told financial analysts this summer.

But de la Vega earlier this week, away from Ballmer, told a CNBC reporter that mobile operating systems are more responsive and energy-efficient.

“The interesting thing about tablets is they’re going to be driven by mobile operating systems as opposed to desktop operating systems,” de la Vega said, with Ballmer nowhere nearby.

Uh oh. Sounds like Ballmer and de la Vega have some communication and other issues to work out. Consider, too, that the holiday season is just around the corner and Microsoft has yet to launch a tablet in time for that materialistic frenzy. Either Microsoft has fallen behind on production of a Windows 7-based tablet or it has gone back to the engineering phase to design a Windows Phone 7-based device.

Whatever transpires with the companies tablet, AT&T seems unlikely to dump Microsoft as a partner over this misunderstanding and opt for the likes of Googles Android. Thats because AT&T is the last carrier in the United States to offer Android-based handsets thanks to its exclusive deal with Apple for the iPhone, in all likelihood. It seems more probable that AT&T will keep working with Microsoft, although Microsoft should expect some closed-door persuasion to switch to Windows Phone 7, and get those tablets on the market, stat.

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