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MS expects iPad rivals by holidays, may show them October 11

updated 10:05 am EDT, Tue October 5, 2010

Microsoft CEO sees Windows iPad rivals by year end

Microsoft's tablet strategy accelerated on Tuesday with remarks from CEO Steve Ballmer that Windows-based rivals to the iPad would be in stores by the end of the year. In a presentation at the London School of Economics, he wouldn't name companies but said of the tablets that buyers would "see them this Christmas." The company had put in effort to make sure the tablets were suitable for creation and consumption, Reuters and students heard.

No official unveiling date had been given, but a leak the same day has pointed to Ballmer using the October 11 Windows Phone 7 event as a launching point for Windows 7 tablet plans. The hardware would only be a minor focus but could see devices named, according to Neowin. Microsoft has allegedly been working with unnamed PC builders to respond to the iPad, but it's not know if there are any special deals or if these are simply known projects.

The most likely candidate to be discussed at the New York City event is the HP Slate 500, which could ship by the end of this month. It has come to symbolize Microsoft's frustrated tablet efforts as it was shown by Ballmer himself in January but has gone unreleased for ten months and was eventually shunted to the enterprise role, although a mainstream version may be coming. Other candidates are the soon-to-ship ExoPC and an accelerated launch of the ASUS Eee Pad EP121, although others are possible.

Microsoft is widely thought to have been broadsided by the launch of the iPad. Despite trying to push Windows tablet PCs as mainstream devices for nine years, Microsoft has already been eclipsed by Apple. iPad sales more than doubled the 1.25 million estimated 2010 Windows tablet sales in less than three months and may lap Windows' lifetime tablet numbers in a fraction of the time span. Windows-based tablets have usually been criticized for a lack of complete finger touch input, high prices and low battery life compared to more software-limited but cheaper, longer-lasting and more intuitive mobile tablets like the iPad or Galaxy Tab.

by MacNN Staff



  1. jarod

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Doesn't this buffoon get it by now that no one wants his garbage?? If there was a slight, remote, minuscule, shimmer of interest in Winshit products these days, I think it would have shown. Nope don't see it though. Stop wasting money; give it to charity and go back to selling used cars. You're not fit to lead and certainly not fit to innovate!

  1. michaele

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The big Balm

    When will this guy figure it out? They have little to offer the consumer and can not compete with Apple. The fact that the MS board has not fired him is incredible. Under his leadership MS has accomplished zip, zilch, zero.

    There is a reason sane people refer to Balmer as "The big Balm".

  1. Fonejacker

    Joined: Dec 1969


    They will show how it should be done

    After 9 years Microcopy will show where Apple has gone wrong with the iPad. They will tell us the iTunes store is too colourful, the App store is not for serious users (f*** apps don't count) or for fun activities, Films/Videos are not really for tablets, Books should be made out of paper.Their version is the right and only one you should buy into.

    I wonder if stylus' will be an optional extra now? Apple shares will take a hit, because Microcopy will have Apple by the short and curlies after this event.

    Lets see, iPad sales approaching 2-3 million per month, iPad apps approaching 10,000. The iPad, the worlds fastest growing product, faster than TVs, VHS recorders, Camcorders, digital cameras, mobile phones. Nothing is beating this product accept the speed of light. Yep, Apple is in trouble, Microcopy has got their photocopier fixed.

  1. ggirton

    Joined: Dec 1969


    interesting times

    The old Chinese curse "May you live in interesting times" now applies to anyone who works at Microsoft. Caught standing still by the iPad, their dev teams must be in a state of continual panic. And ironically, it's a management problem.

    The picture above, of a tablet showing a web browser on the website, highlights exactly what the problem is. A tablet, when conceived of as a one-piece computer without a keyboard, simply is not a thing of beauty and a joy forever. Apple did a GREAT job on the iPad software. I have to give them that even though I have no plans to buy one for quite some time. They conceived of and executed something different from a one-piece touchscreen computer without a keyboard, and not only are they not going to be knocked off -- neither is their product.

    My only question is ... from Apple, what next?

  1. Foe Hammer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Didn't He Already Show One in Early January?

    But hey ... why not show it again? Along with all the other wannabes. Call it "Picture Frames At An Exhibition." He's got to do something after that insulting million dollar bonus he got.

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