Microsoft to announce Apple iPad rival in January

It may just be déjà vu, but we think we've done this story before - Microsoft announcing its tablet PCs will rule the world and beat Apple into a cocked hat. No hang on, we have - we've actually covered it twice before; in September 2009, Microsoft released a promotional video for their Courier project, while at the Consumer Electronics Show (CSE) in January, Steve Ballmer announced a joint venture with HP concerning their forthcoming tablet PC. Neither project has seen the light of day.

That may all change next month; a year on, Microsoft are rumoured to be returning to the CES in Las Vegas to launch a range of 'slate' PCs, manufactured by the likes of Dell and Samsung. According to the New York Times:

The Samsung device is described as “similar in size and shape to the Apple iPad, although it is not as thin. It also includes a unique and slick keyboard that slides out from below for easy typing.”

“The company believes there is a huge market for business people who want to enjoy a slate for reading newspapers and magazines and then work on Microsoft Word, Excel or PowerPoint while doing work,” explained a person familiar with the company’s tablet plans.

Like Android handsets and the iPhone, the iPad will no doubt be outnumbered by tablets with other operating systems in the near future, simply because Apple's OS is only bundled with its hardware. Apple's seem content to create the mainstream tablet market, as it essentially did with both smartphones and apps - but it won't ultimately dominate it in terms of volume.

So if Microsoft are looking to provide the software for dozens of devices, then Apple isn't the enemy - Google and the Android OS is - and that's a very different fight for Microsoft to be picking.


  • Alexis
    They're sitting on a goldmine but are too stubborn and shortsighted to release Office on iPad. I shall sit back and watch with delight as MS shoot themselves in both feet once again.
  • DragonChris
    I don't have much hope for Win 7 on a tablet for a simple reason - Windows 7 was designed for computers, not for tablets. The OS is not very touch friendly on a small screen - having played with a few prototypes, I was far from impressed. Unless they are working on a tablet version of the OS, they will not succeed. This is before we start to talk about pricing strategies...
  • klingelton
    I have a windows 7 tablet pc and where some of the features are very good - scrolling and on screen clicking - feel that the whole experience is just far too wooly to rely on it as a sole means of input. Square peg, round hole. microsoft shaped hammer.
  • klingelton
    Ballmer looks like a teletubby in this pic... AGAIN!

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