Originally Posted by Wiggin
Because they put a desktop OS, including it's interface, on a "slate" device. That is the pretty much the definition of clinging to the past.
Some of the other devices you list (Zune, etc) at least had some innovation in the UI. But why in god's name would they run a Windows 7 UI on a 10" screen?
Answer: Because Apple hasn't yet showed them what a good UI for such a device looks like. Once Apple shows their device, you can get MS will begin working on a new interface for these types of devices.
Anyway, the point of my post was that Apple has for many years, probably longer than any of us would suspect, been working towards the day when the personal computer as we currently know it is gone.
One problem that MS has, however, is that they lack a unified code base ready to be customized for new devices. So for intermediate devices like a mid-sized slate, manufacturers have to choose between a widget-y but compact WinCE based OS or full blown Windows with some touch bells and whistles.
Given the drift of things in the CE industry, it looks like most manufacturers are electing to forgo WinCE in favor of Linux variants or Android, so that leaves Windows 7 as the default OS for when you want to make claims to having "a real OS."
That distinction-- between light-weight but somewhat limited OSes for small devices on the one hand, and the entirety of Windows whether you want it or not-- represents a huge competitive advantage for Apple, IMO. They don't have to try to fit 100 lbs of potatoes into a 10 pound sack, and they don't have to try to make a potato into a meal-- they can use exactly the components that are called for, with the UI that works best, for each and every machine they make, all of it drawing from the same code base.
Of course, some people are going to confuse that with "crippling" OS X to fit a form factor or performance envelope, but then again some people can't understand what Apple could possibly do to make a tablet more desirable than the Windows running devices that have been around for a while.