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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  Microsoft's Kin project was a colossal sales failure perpetrated by miserably outdated hardware, bizarre commercials that bordered on disturbing, and a lack of carrier support.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: Avoid these like the plague...
By Belard on 10/7/2010 5:44:20 AM , Rating: 2
Like the ZUNE...

Which you wont find in Wal Mart, which has every iPod model to choose from.

Zune has less than 2% of the MP/Mp3 market, isn't it discontinued yet?

Remember the Zune HYPE... mysterious website, etc. And they come out with ugly brown devices.


RE: Avoid these like the plague...
By Sazabi19 on 10/7/2010 8:15:04 AM , Rating: 2
I got my Zune HD Platinum, my origional 30 gig "fatty", and my brothers 8 gig Zune all at Walmart, what are you talking about? Also, sound quality is much better out of the Zune. I have tried the same songs on both Zune and the iPod, the all around music levels on the Zune are better, especially lows. I love my Zunes and will never go to Apple's overpriced junk just becuase it's shiny or popular.


RE: Avoid these like the plague...
By Belard on 10/7/2010 4:29:50 PM , Rating: 2
Gee... key words here... my "original" and "got his 8GB"... uh When?

There are currently 4~5 Zune players available from MS. Only the bottom end unit is available at most/Some Walmarts.

Total Zune & Zune products on WalMart.com's catalog is 21.

Currently, MS has 8 total Zunes, but really - just TWO different ZUNEs with various memory sizes & colors. Half the line is a COPY of the iPOD touch (Zune HD). Most likely, the older ZUNEs are simply older models.

Apple has 4 distinct lines of iPODs, each vastly different than the other. Walmart sells about 150 iPod & iPod products.

In my Walmart, I check last night... they have all the latest iPODs... they had RCA, SONY and some other MP3 players. No Zune.


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