Microsoft tablet mode-It’s hard to deny that Microsoft is letting its tablet mode die on the vine. True, the firm hasn’t outright tossed it out of Windows 10, but it hasn’t seen any major updates that make it more usable for tablet first users. Gestures — which form a large part of iOS and Android navigation now — have been discarded. A touch-first browser has gone the way of the dodo as well, and fewer and fewer improvements come to add the flair that tablet mode initially had.
Tablet Mode and the Microsoft Surface are two products that are intertwined on some level. The primary reason being, while there were many Windows tablets back in the heydey of Windows tablets, Microsoft’s Surface Pro is one of the few that remain as of now. Both the Surface Pro and the Surface Go are Windows 10 devices in tablet form-factors. They highlight different strengths and weaknesses of Windows as a tablet OS. The Surface Pro is too large to be used as a tablet effectively and works very well as a laptop replacement so much so that you forget it is even a tablet to begin with.
The Surface Go is the perfect size to be used as a tablet, but you won’t find Amazon Prime Video on it. You won’t see Google Play Books, Kindle or Comixology, nor games. Like the Surface Pro, it shines best when you pair it with a keyboard. If your goal is to replicate a classic iPad style experience on Windows that’s not a good thing.
Tablet Mode in a way was a holdover from the tablet focused Windows 8 and 8.1 where Microsoft thought touch would rule the world. While those two operating systems were characterised by their gesture-driven navigation, beautiful animations and transitions. Windows 10’s Tablet Mode was more strict, more utilitarian. Users of Surface devices who got updated to Windows 10 felt it, and it came off as less playful and less interesting than what Microsoft had originally envisioned for tablet devices. More of an afterthought than something Microsoft wanted to do. The other factor that dragged down tablet mode was Windows 10 Apps. Tablet Mode could only really shine if app developers went out of their way to build beautiful app experiences for Windows 10. They did not. The reaction to Windows 10 and the original Windows app experience has been so tepid that Microsoft has been forced to reintroduce Win32 to the world as the future of Windows alongside Progressive Web Apps.