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Microsoft is "hardcore" about tablets, hints HP still around

updated 10:50 am EDT, Mon July 12, 2010

Microsoft insists it can compete with iPad

Microsoft at the Windows Partner Conference today insisted it was still committed to the tablet space. CEO Steve Ballmer claimed the company was "hardcore" about slates at the Washington, DC event and touted the partners that hope to have touch-only tablets within a year's time. He acknowledged that developers "really want to know what's coming" and mentioned several partners, such as ASUS and its Eee Pad.

The executive was nonetheless vague about the prospects of the uncertain HP slate. A slide one hour, 33 minutes into his keynote Monday morning showed HP as a partner, but Ballmer made no mention of HP in his public speech. The presence suggests HP hasn't officially cancelled the Windows 7 slate it showed in January, although many suspect the PC builder has now switched its attention to the Hurricane webOS tablet and could drop the Microsoft tablet.

Many now consider Microsoft to have been caught off-guard by the sales success of the iPad and to be catching up on its tablet efforts. Although it had anticipated the possibility of an Apple tablet with very early previews of Windows 7 tablets at CES this year, no mainstream, touch-only tablets have shipped since; the non-iPad market is still comprised of the convertible netbooks and notebooks that have so far failed to get significant traction. Although Windows tablet PCs have existed since 2002, it wasn't until the iPad shipped that tablet sales nearly tripled in Europe.

Truly mobile OS-based tablets aren't due until Windows Embedded Compact 7 ships, which may not be available until 2011. [image via Todd Bishop]

By Electronista Staff


  1. cmoney

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 2000


    It's always

    Just A Year Away with Microsoft isn't it?

  1. nat

    Junior Member

    Joined: Mar 2002



    of course they are. and if the tablets should join that long list of other money drains on the company the cash cow twins will insure that they will be available for years and years to come.

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2004


    well Microsoft has been shipping since 2002

    I think you misread the article, since if merely shipping product is important, Microsoft partners have shipped tablets since 2002.

    And technically Android is shipping tablets too, because some of the Archos media players have been Android based for a while now.

    But what people are really wanting is the Microsoft or Android version of the iPad - and that, so far hasn't shipped.

    But its interesting to me that Apple is now converting its own software to run on the iPad - so you see Keynote, and other iWorks apps - movie editing software, etc. being ported.

    When Mac sales were at their lowpoint, having Mac-only software was important, it gave users the hook they needed to say they still needed to purchase a Mac.

    Apple is the market leader in apps - for now, but trends seem to indicate Android will be the larger market space for apps...but they'll never have a port of the App's apple wrote - so Apple is preparing the strategy already - good. They really do think far ahead.

    Of course Microsoft is going to levy their Office monopoly for their attempt to spur sales in the tablet area.

    I think Microsoft, is one of the companies that can move into this area - and a company that can rebound in the smartphone area. I think Android is destined for the number 1 spot - but Apple and MS look like they are going to renew their old rivalry, and this time, Apple is in the stronger position.

  1. jarod

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2005


    They Hardcore alright

    About making complete jack-*sses of themselves in public LOLLLLL! Go MS Keep it strong!

  1. Tofino

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2005


    awesome macho talk from steve ballmer

    i hope they call it the 'KINpad'.
    what could possibly go wrong?

  1. iphonerulez

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Nov 2008


    Does a light tablet really need to run

    something like Microsoft Office? If you've already got a Citrix thin client to access your Microsoft Office documents from your desktop computer, why bother with each tablet running Microsoft Office. It just seems redundant. I'm certain that Microsoft already has its hands filled with 95% desktop market share. That's an awful lot of licenses and Microsoft Office sales. They should just stay focused on improving what they already dominate.

    There's just not going to be enough demand for Windows 7-based tablets to make it worth their while. And I still don't quite see why vendors would pay money for Windows Embedded Compact 7-based tablets when they can get Android for free. With all those tablet vendors offering devices, it's going to be a cost cutthroat business. HTC seems to be making money from smartphones, but it doesn't appear that Motorola is getting any richer even using free Android OS.

    I'm just glad Apple has this headstart to get established. At least now they have an easy time of raking in the big bucks without any competition whatsoever. If Apple can share major components between its three mobile devices and possibly even a new AppleTV, that will save Apple a lot of money. No other company will have that advantage to keep component costs low.

  1. imactheknife

    Junior Member

    Joined: Jul 2003


    comment title

    LMAO at Microsoft....hardcore at making lousy consumer electronics! yep...stay with office and windows (only if you have too on the last one) and can all the rest...

  1. mortie

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2008


    Missed opportunity

    I love my iPad, but I was really excited about the now-cancelled Courier. Best thing to come out of Redmond in quite some time:

    I likely wouldn't have bought it, but it's nice to see other companies attempting to push the design envelope.

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