updated 03:45 pm EDT, Mon August 23, 2010
MSI says Win 7 WindPad needs Oak Trail Atom
MSI this afternoon said it wouldn't ship its Windows 7 tablet, the WindPad 100, until next year. The company's Andy Tung told Engadget that the slate won't ship until Intel's Oak Trail Atom platform is ready at the start of 2011. Current Atom hardware is too battery-hungry and slow for MSI's goals, he said.
The Android-based WindPad 110 is still considered on track for the end of the year and should ship with Android 2.2 when ready. Its dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 250 is already a known quantity, but Tung added that MSI is working directly with Google and will have access to a mobile app store. He didn't say whether this would solely involve Android Market or if it would involve a store from MSI or a third party.
MSI's statements are setbacks for both Intel and Microsoft. The two had hoped to push out Atom- and Windows-based tablets this year but now may not see any significant entries until several months after the iPad the two had hoped to beat. Alongside MSI, Intel and Microsoft had held up HP's Windows 7 Slate as an example of their teamwork, but it has now gone almost nine months without a release and is now being relegated to the enterprise after its poor battery and high price made it unsuitable for the home.
Tung also implied that MSI had joined ASUS in facing an iPad effect by shifting its attention away from netbooks. The PC builder is reducing the number of netbooks it makes to focus more on tablets, he explained. While he didn't directly acknowledge Apple, the popularity of its tablet has led to softened netbook demand to where even ASUS has had to lower Eee PC forecasts at a time when the computer normally reaches its yearly sales peak.