Microsoft CEO: Expect Win7 Tablet PC by Xmas

Dennis Faas's picture

Thus far, hardware makers have been a little slow in bringing out Windows 7-based tablet computers to rival Apple's very popular iPad. But Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer says that's about to change, and that several new devices should be on the market in time for the holiday season.

"You'll see new slates with Windows on them," Ballmer told an audience at the London School of Economics on Tuesday. "You'll see them this Christmas." (Source:

Big Box Retailer 'Target' to Carry iPad

The iPad hit stores way back in April, and within two months Apple had sold approximately three million units.

This past Sunday the Cupertino company introduced a new marketing initiative with big box retailer Target which should help balloon sales even further. Apple hopes the Target deal will bring a new kind of consumer into contact with the iPad, which is most widely sold online, in the Apple store, and through popular electronics retailers like Best Buy.

Ballmer and Microsoft are clearly excited to get into this market as soon as possible. During a speech in Las Vegas earlier this year, he excitedly proclaimed "Windows PCs will absolutely offer the greatest variety and the most interesting content and entertainment experiences in the world."

Windows 7 Gives Slates Extra Punch

Obviously, Microsoft's strong left hook in this fight will be Windows 7, the new and very well reviewed operating system slowly taking over the PC world.

The company has said that it will offer a number of styles of tablet PCs with Windows 7 on them. These devices will feature built-in touch screen capability, and many will be built by prominent hardware producers like Hewlett-Packard (HP).

The CEO's description of his company's upcoming slate lineup sounds a lot like Apple's boasting about their own device -- aside from the infusion of Windows 7, of course. Speaking on the general nature of the upcoming devices, Ballmer said "It's almost as portable as a phone, and as powerful as a PC running Windows 7... This emerging category of PCs really should take advantage of the touch and mobility capabilities of Windows 7."

Microsoft Confident About New Ventures

Critics wonder how Microsoft will adapt to this new realm as the traditional PC market continues to fragment into several new parts with unknown futures, including the netbook, tablet, and smartphone. But Ballmer maintains that there are few worries at his company about the future of Microsoft or Windows.

No one knows better than Ballmer how important is this coming foray into the tablet market. It's rumored that the Microsoft CEO's inability to help introduce a legitimate iPad rival -- along with the failure of the Kin phone -- was responsible for his much-reduced salary bonus this year. (Source:

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