Microsoft: We Are Hardcore About Tablets

Microsoft: We Are Hardcore About Tablets

Finally, a legitimate response that the world can circle and hone in on with regard to Microsoft's response to the iPad. Up until now, Microsoft has been rather quiet on the whole "How will you rival the iPad?" front. There have been a number of Windows-based tablet PCs announced, but so far, none have materialized. Basically, it has been a huge wait-and-see game, with Apple utilizing each and every day to pick up even more market share and further corner the tablet market.

Now, Microsoft's CEO has come forward with a real challenge. According to Steve Ballmer, who spoke today at the company's Worldwide Partner Conference in Washington, D.C., Windows 7 slates will be on store shelves before the end of 2010. Details beyond that remain scant, but at least that's a start. What's interesting, however, is that Windows 7 is the OS of choice. Not Windows CE, not Windows Phone 7, not Windows 7 Embedded Compact. Just Windows 7. The same Windows 7 that you're using on your quad-core desktop.


The real question is: will that work? Who wants a full-blown Windows 7 build on a machine with no keyboard? Is there even a market for that? Microsoft is obviously playing with fire here, and it remains to be seen if people will just spend less on a netbook in order to get a fully featured Windows 7 machine for portable use. No matter what, though, Microsoft has managed to land a bunch of partners. Lenovo, Asus, Dell, HP, Samsung, Fujitsu, Toshiba and Sony will be among the many producing Windows 7 slates, and according to reports from D.C., they will ship in a variety of form factors at a variety of price points. Some will even ship with keyboards, docks and E Ink displays.

We'll have to wait for individual companies to announce products before we know more on specifications and the like, but for now, here are a few choice quotes from Ballmer himself:

"This year one of the most important things that we will do in the smart device category is really push forward with Windows 7-based slates and Windows 7 phones. Over the course of the next several months you will see a range of Windows 7-based slates that I think you'll find quite impressive. This is a terribly important area for us. We are hardcore about this. They'll come from the people you would expect -- from Asus, from Dell, from Samsung, from Toshiba, from Sony -- Windows 7-based slates. They'll come with keyboards, they'll come without keyboards, they'll be dockable, there'll be many form factors, many price points, many sizes. "But they will all run Windows 7. They will run Windows 7 applications. They will run Office."
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Guess they should be very careful, that fire can spread pretty fast :)

I am always a fan of keyboards so the idea they are shipping some with keyboards are cool :). But im still not this kind of tablet kind of guy .

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That tablet at the bottom is huge! It could be a substitute for the folding chair in a wrestling match! lol

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While I do think that a full-fledged Windows 7 tablet will be good for users and business people since they can install anything they want on those tablets. I'm curious to see how Microsoft aims this in relation to the iPad.

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Same here.  IMO the iPad isn't a PC, it's a  (capable) multimedia device with a certain chic factor.  MS can't compete with them in that arena, as the Zune showed.  But if they produce a tablet pc with a fully capable Windows OS, then it wouldn't exactly be competing with the iPad, since I think their target market would be fairly different.  Maybe they can carve out a niche market for themselves like sturdy tablet PCs for the manufacturing/construction sector??  But yeah I'm really curious to see how they go about too.

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sackyhack:

Same here.  IMO the iPad isn't a PC, it's a  (capable) multimedia device with a certain chic factor.  MS can't compete with them in that arena, as the Zune showed.  But if they produce a tablet pc with a fully capable Windows OS, then it wouldn't exactly be competing with the iPad, since I think their target market would be fairly different.  Maybe they can carve out a niche market for themselves like sturdy tablet PCs for the manufacturing/construction sector??  But yeah I'm really curious to see how they go about too.

You're slightly wrong. Apple offer's iWork for the iPad if I'm remembering correctly and also allows for a USB keyboard to be plugged in so it's more then a multimedia device.

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acarzt:

That tablet at the bottom is huge! It could be a substitute for the folding chair in a wrestling match! lol

Sponsored by TNA or ECW? Great product tie in no? Like when they used to have someone whack a wrestler with paul heytman old school cell phone back in the 1990's..

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I don't care which wrestling organization does it... I just want to see a giant tablet smashed over someones head.

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