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Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer promised the world Windows tablets at last year's CES, but thus far has failed to deliver. Speaking to an audience Tuesday, he promised that they would see Windows tablets by Christmas.  (Source: Reuters)
"You'll see new slates with Windows on them. You'll see them this Christmas." -- Steve Ballmer

One of the technology industry's big Steves -- Steve Ballmer, Chief Executive of Microsoft -- on Tuesday promised that Windows tablets won't take much longer to hit the market and compete with Apple's popular iPad and upcoming Google Android/Chrome OS tablets.  He remarked, "You'll see new slates with Windows on them. You'll see them this Christmas."

Of course "see them this Christmas" could have a variety of meanings -- anything from "see them" as be unwrapping them, or "see them" as in reading an online press release that they will be available in March.

Google and its hardware partners has been a bit slow responding to the tablet craze.  They only recently have aired 5-inch (Dell Streak) and 7-inch (Dell Streak, Samsung Galaxy Tab) designs, and are still awaiting full-sized 10-inch tablets, comparable in size to the iPad.

Microsoft, however, has been even more lackadaisical in pursuing this lucrative market.  The company showed off a slew of tablets at a presentation attended by DailyTech at this year's Consumer Electronics Show, yet has failed to deliver a single Windows tablet from a major player. 

HP, the world's largest personal computer maker, was reportedly close to releasing designs like the HP Slate this spring, but has shelved those plans, instead focusing on webOS tablets.  WebOS is a product of Palm, which HP acquired earlier this year.

Meanwhile July's numbers indicate that Apple is unloading at least 2.3 million iPads a month.  If it can sustain that sales pace (which seems likely due to holiday demand and lack of competitors), it's on the mark to hit anywhere from 15 to 20 million tablets sold this year.

Mr. Ballmer also hit on one of Microsoft other key problem spots -- the mobile phone market.  Microsoft's Kin project was a colossal sales failure perpetrated by miserably outdated hardware, bizarre commercials that bordered on disturbing, and a lack of carrier support.  At the end of the day Microsoft pulled the plug.

Meanwhile, Microsoft's veteran Windows Mobile brand has languished, bleeding market share to Apple and Google.  Microsoft's answer is a brand-new smart phone operating system dubbed Windows Phone 7, which will air October 11th.

Mr. Ballmer addressed his company's challenging state of affairs in this sector, summarizing, "The job right now is we've got to get back seriously into the game of phonesWe've got to have a comeback against the competition and I think with our new Windows phones we really have a beautiful product."

WP7 faces an uphill battle when it hits the market, but Microsoft's CEO seems to realize that.  At least he can take comfort that he will quite possibly be putting some in peoples' Christmas stocking...even if that something isn't a Windows tablet.


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RE: What version of Windows
By superPC on 10/7/2010 12:08:53 AM , Rating: 2
by origami did you mean this http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/winfamil... ? looks like it was based on windows media center (in windows vista). it's not pretty, but i think it's functional. downloading it now (from http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx... ) and hoping it work on windows 7. i don't get it. why did they abandon this? if they give such care to WMC why the hell didn't they do the same for origami experience? didn’t they think tablet market would grow? microsoft really is years ahead of the competitions. they build origami experience waaayyy back in 2007 months before ipod touch was even launched.

i think building with origami as a base they can make a really great touch UI.


RE: What version of Windows
By theprofessor on 10/7/2010 4:30:47 PM , Rating: 2
You might still be able to buy an UMPC (I think Samsung and Sony may have one for sale). They were never a big seller, mostly because of price. Even though Microsoft tried hard to get the OEMs to release them in the $500 - $800 range (similar to the iPad), they all cost $1000 - $2000, well above what the average consumer was willing to spend. My hope is, that with newer low cost technology and the proof to OEMs that you can make money at a lower price point, that this project is continued. Version 3 built off of this base could be really good.

And if you think that it's impressive that they released this in 2007, this is actually Version 2, based on Vista. They had version 1 for XP at least a year before this. And Microsoft has been talking about the idea of a full Windows tablet since 2000 when they began work on what became Windows XP Tablet PC Edition. That was released in 2002, but is really better suited for a different market (professionals and students).


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