Expect Windows 7 Slate by End-Year

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Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, giving the opening keynote at the Worldwide Partner Conference, told his audience to expect Windows 7 slate computers before the end of this year. “We know you really want to know what’s coming,” said Ballmer.
HP is one of several Dell partners who announced a slate earlier this year, although they did not announce when the new product would be available. Microsoft’s Chief went onto say, “They [the Slate PC’s] will come from the people you would expect. From Asus, from Dell, from Samsung, from Toshiba, from Sony.”
Ballmer said his company plans to introduce a full range of Windows 7-based slate PCs “over the course of the next several months.”  And those devices, Ballmer said, will be designed with both consumers and enterprise users in mind

Ballmer failed to mention Hewlett-Packard in the list of vendors developing a Windows-powered slate product. HP was seen as a key Microsoft partner in the emerging category of tablet-style computers until it bought out Palm for $1.2 billion earlier this year. Many observers believe HP now plans to introduce a slate based on Palm’s WebOS.

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One of Ballmer’s presentation slides, however, included HP in the list of vendors developing Microsoft-based slates. Other vendors listed on the graphic included Lenovo, Fujitsu, Onkyo, MotionComputing, Pegatron, Hanvon, and MSI.

Without mentioning Apple by name, Ballmer said Microsoft expects to take a significant piece of the slate market by delivering a wide variety of devices that fit in both home and business environments and will be compatible with Microsoft’s suite of management and security tools.

“We want to give you a consumer-oriented device, but a device that fits and is manageable with today’s enterprise IT solutions,” Ballmer said. “They’ll come with keyboards, they’ll come without keyboards, they’ll be dockable, there’ll be many form factors, many price points, many sizes. But they will run Windows 7,” he added.

With Apple having sold more than three million iPads in the device’s first 80 days on the market, Microsoft needs to move quickly to steal some momentum in one of tech’s hottest new markets. “This is a terribly important area for us,” Ballmer said.

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For the last 20 years, David Novak has appeared in newspapers, magazines, radio, and TV around the world, reviewing the latest in consumer technology.His byline has appeared in Popular Science, PC Magazine, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, Electronic House Magazine, GQ, Men’s Journal, National Geographic, Newsweek, Popular Mechanics, Forbes Technology, Readers Digest, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Glamour Magazine, T3 Technology Magazine, Stuff Magazine, Maxim Magazine, Wired Magazine, Laptop Magazine, Indianapolis Monthly, Indiana Business Journal, Better Homes and Garden, CNET, Engadget, InfoWorld, Information Week, Yahoo Technology and Mobile Magazine. He has also made radio appearances on the The Mark Levin Radio Show, The Laura Ingraham Talk Show, Bob & Tom Show, and the Paul Harvey RadioShow. He’s also made TV appearances on The Today Show and The CBS Morning Show.His nationally syndicated newspaper column called the GadgetGUY, appears in over 100 newspapers around the world each week, where Novak enjoys over 3 million in readership. David is also a contributing writer fro Men’s Journal, GQ, Popular Mechanics, T3 Magazine and Electronic House here in the U.S.