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HP's multi-touch, Windows 7-powered slate

Samsung's Q1EX UMPC from last year, albeit without multi-touch
Ballmer shows off a slate from HP, but don't expect any Courier magic

Rumors began to swirl yesterday that Steve Ballmer would be announcing a new slate PC today at his CES keynote address. The information handed down from the New York Times concluded that the device would feature a slate format and would be produced by Hewlett Packard.

The NYT's Ashlee Vance was correct on both accounts, however, those of us looking for more than a Windows 7 slate with multi-touch support will likely be disappointed. Instead of the whimsical fantasies dreamt up in Microsoft's Courier videos involving dual screens, pen input and an innovative user interface, those of us sitting in the audience were treated to something a bit more conventional.

In reality, the design reminds us of Microsoft's previous UMPC efforts, only on a larger scale. The prototype device that Ballmer showed the crowd was running a Kindle application for Windows 7 complete with multi-touch support.

Ballmer was quite the tease and didn't divulge any additional information on specs or pricing -- all we know is that the device will be available some time this year. However, we'll do our best to get more information on the device tomorrow.

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RE: AAPL worth 2/3 of MSFT in market cap
By biggsjm on 1/7/2010 8:22:16 AM , Rating: 2
I agree that until Apple announces anything, we should keep the speculation to a minimum. Plenty of rumor, nothing confirmed. I even saw an article yesterday (pre-CES keynote) that was titled "3 Reasons a MSFT/ HP Tablet will Kill Apple's Tablet". One of the reasons was that since HP and MSFT spent more $ combined in total RD than Apple it was ridiculous to even think that Apple could compete.

And then Microsoft goes and shows off this.

Look. I'm not saying this tablet is a piece of junk. But its nothing new. Its an All-In-One PC running Windows 7. Calling it a slate (is that really what they are calling this category now?) is a knock to the innovations that others are trying to make in this area (JooJoo / Nook / Kindle / etc.).

Windows 7 is a different animal than a tablet OS. if you watched the video, even Ballmer had trouble trying to navigate the Windows 7 UI (granted he had it upside down at the time). I was upset that while MSFT was talking about NUI (natural user interfaces) and the cool things they are doing with NATAL, that they could still do nothing to modify the view / GUI, while maintaining the underlying windows 7 OS.

As for Apple's tablet . . . let's analyze that and compare / contrast when they actually announce something.

By Spivonious on 1/7/2010 9:51:51 AM , Rating: 1
If the rumors are correct, then Apple's tablet will be nothing more than a big iPod Touch. Completely pointless, imo.

"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer
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