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Microsoft Courier concept  (Source: Gizmodo)
Microsoft and HP offering better be good

The tablet market isn't very robust today with relatively few offerings available for consumers to choose from. Windows 7 is optimized for touch so the OS is ready for tablets in the event that manufacturers and consumers lineup behind the devices. The most rumored and anticipated tablet won't need Windows though with Apple reportedly readying a tablet.

Of all the tablet rumors circulating, Apple is easily the most talked about entry into the tablet market, and the company hasn't even said officially it is working on a tablet. In December 2009, analysts said that a tablet was coming from Apple in March or April. The mere rumor of a launch date for the Apple tablet sent its stock price up in late December.

Apple has an event planned for later this month that many believe will be the official unveiling of the Apple tablet. Before Apple has a chance to pull the tablet out of the closet, Microsoft and HP are expected to reveal their own tablet computer.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will unveil a slate computer during his keynote at CES 2010 in Las Vegas reports the New York Times. The worst thing that Microsoft and HP could do is pull out a device that is a halfhearted attempt to get to market first. Being first is no guarantee of success in this market, especially considering Apple's history of innovation.

Windows Mobile smartphones were on the market long before Steve Jobs pulled the first iPhone from his pocket and the iPhone is now more popular than Windows Mobile Devices according to some statistics. Sources cited by the NYT claim that the HP tablet will be pushed as a multimedia gadget and will have an eReader and multi touch functions built-in.

Most tech fanatics out there, however, are probably expecting the device to look similar to the Courier concepts that were floating around the web last Fall. That concept featured dual multi-touch screens and was capable of accepting pen input. If the device that Ballmer is expected to unveil tonight looks and operates anywhere close to the Courier concept, Microsoft and HP could have a hit on their hands.

DailyTech will be there to get first hand footage of the device.

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By Penti on 1/6/2010 9:08:02 PM , Rating: 2
Battery life?

Good tablets are also very expensive. Perhaps some think they want a cheaper consumer device. But most is just bull about those devices. Screens are very hard as currently there is no good ones being manufactured, and the media touts the rumored Apple tablet to be some kind of e-reader, or magazine reader (well there's already the standard web with HTML/CSS/JavaScript together with Flash for that. Walled gardens and new formats wouldn't be a good thing). An e-reader really needs an e-ink screen. Either make a web/laptop device or make a ebook reader there's no middle ground with todays tech. Media rich magazine-type stuff would drain the battery before you could get a chance to recharge it any way. Ebook readers will eventually be multimedia devices but it's many years before that.

However it's the age of netbook and smartbook designs flooding out to nowhere. We will see a lot of touch screen stuff, but most will be useless. You can't really replace the keyboard and it complements it poorly if not for to write directly on. Which most is not really for. Besides you can just use one of those 100 dollar pens and write on ordinary paper and transfer the notes to your computer, not that consumers really do take notes with their computers. It's probably multimedia devices those are after, but right now they would fit poorly. Netbook-class hardware can do very much. But the screens are horrible. And it's hard to see what's gained with touch screen. Let's hope we don't see the rumored Apple tablet/slate/pad. But something else. And that Flash 10.1 really do the trick.

"You can bet that Sony built a long-term business plan about being successful in Japan and that business plan is crumbling." -- Peter Moore, 24 hours before his Microsoft resignation
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