updated 02:50 pm EST, Tue February 8, 2011
Dell to limit 10-inch Windows tablet to business
Dell during a pre-briefing for its new business PCs confirmed that it was developing a 10-inch Windows 7 tablet. The slate received few real details but, despite Microsoft hopes, would be limited to enterprise users. The design would be for companies whose workers need "greater mobility" but who still need to meet specific security requirements, Dell said.
The tablet will arrive sometime this year.
When launched, it will be Dell's first true touch-only tablet to run a Microsoft OS but will follow a pattern of companies being unwilling to promote Windows as a tablet OS for the mainstream. The Windows developer had first tried to push its OS as suitable for tablets in the home but faced a backlash after HP relegated the Slate 500 to the enterprise and a much smaller audience. While neither Dell nor HP has said why, the decision has been commonly blamed elsewhere on the lack of a truly touch-native Windows interface as well as a dependence on Intel Atom processors that have much lower battery life and can be subjectively slower than a device like an iPad.
A full touch-aware Windows OS may not show until Windows 8 in 2012. Dell currently has tablets but has so far left them to convertibles such as the Inspiron Duo and the Latitude XT series.