Ballmer Says Again to Expect Windows 7 Tablets by Year's End

Chief executive confirms holiday season delivery date for slate PCs to audience at London School of Economics.

October 6, 2010

D.H. Kass

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Microsoft Corp.’s chief executive Steve Ballmer reiterated to an audience Tuesday at the London School of Economics the vendor’s intention to bring Windows 7-based tablet PCs to market by this coming holiday season.

Ballmer is on a European junket talking up cloud computing, making a prior stop in Sweden before his presentation in the U.K., with additional dates scheduled for later this week in Germany, France and Spain.

“You’ll see slates with Windows on them,” Ballmer said at the London School of Economics. “You’ll see them this Christmas.”

Ballmer did not offer specifics on product availability or other details such as pricing or hardware partners.

“We, as a company, will need to cover all form factors, and certainly we have done work around the tablet as both a productivity device and a consumption device,” he said.

“If you really want most of the benefits of what a PC has to offer, the ability to create and consume, take documents of all types, a form factor that actually has been tuned for a lot of things over a number of years, we certainly have a superior device, and you’ll see us continue to expand the footprint that Windows does a good job of targeting over time,” he said.

Earlier this year, Ballmer told attendees at the vendor’s partner conference in Washington, D.C. that before the end of this year a range of Windows 7-driven tablet devices will spring from a number of the vendor's hardware partners.

At the time, Ballmer indicated that Microsoft will partner with a variety of hardware makers to bring the products to market, including ASUSTek Computer Inc., Dell Inc., Samsung Electronics, Toshiba and Sony.

He said that the units will be available in various form factors, prices, sizes, dockable, with and without keyboards, accepting touch input and digital ink, and running Microsoft applications such as the Office software.

“We want to give you a great device, a consumer-oriented device but a device that fits and is manageable with today’s enterprise IT solutions,” he said.

TAGS: Windows,Microsoft,tablet,Ballmer,slate

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