Ballmer Says To Expect Windows 7 Slates In Next Few Months
Chief exec calls tablet devices an area where we feel all of the energy and vigor and push that we have ever felt to innovate, to drive hard, to compete.
Steve Ballmer, Microsoft Corp.s chief executive (pictured), in a keynote address, told channel partners and customers assembled at the vendors annual Worldwide Partner Conference in Washington, D.C., that before the end of this year a range of Windows 7-driven tablet devices he called "slates" will spring from a number of the vendor's hardware partners.
Ballmer said that in the coming months ASUSTek Computer Inc., Dell Computer Corp., Samsung Electronics, Toshiba and Sony will field Windows 7-based slates in a variety of form factors, prices, sizes, dockable, with and without keyboards, accepting touch input and digital ink, and running Windows 7 applications including Office.
The target customer for the impending slate devices is the knowledge worker that wants to have something that works super well at work but also supports their personal interests as they travel, he said.
We want to give you a great device, a consumer-oriented device but a device that fits and is manageable with todays enterprise IT solutions, Ballmer said. They will be very good for the kinds of scenarios that all of us are going to see, he said.
Ballmer said that the vendor plans to really push forward with Windows 7-based slates, characterizing Microsoft as hell bent to drive that volume with IT as well as the end consumer.
Last January, at the Consumer Electronics Show, Ballmer unwrapped a sample of a Windows 7-based slate from Hewlett-Packard Co. Not much has been said about the device since then and HP has yet to confirm that its still headed in that direction.
However, it seems clear that months later Microsoft has picked up some enthusiasm for the devices, marking their development as a strategic initiative.
This year one of the most important things that we will do in the smart device category is really push forward with Windows 7-based slates and with Windows 7 phones, Ballmer said. This is a terribly important area for us.
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