Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will show off tablets, including Samsung and Dell models, running Windows 7 at the CES event in January, a source has told The New York Times.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is expected to introduce a number of tablet devices
meant to-you guessed it-compete with the Apple iPad in the market that
Microsoft first created in 2000 and that Apple revived and reinvented this year
with the iPad.
Citing "people familiar with Microsoft's plans," The New York Times reported
Dec. 13 that the big reveal is expected to occur at January's Consumer
Electronics Show (CES) and that the devices, which will run the Windows 7
operating system, will likely come from Samsung and Dell, among others.
The Samsung device is expected to be "-similar in size and shape to the
Apple iPad, although it is not as thin,'" reported the Times, quoting its
source. "-It also includes a unique and slick keyboard that slides out from
below for easy typing.'" The tablet is also expected to "run the Windows 7
operating system when in landscape mode, but will also have a layered interface
that will appear when the keyboard is hidden and the device is held in a
Another source told the Times that Ballmer may also show off a tablet
running Windows 8, Microsoft's next OS, while a Microsoft employee told the
paper that Microsoft is encouraging partners to build applications for the
devices in the Web programming language HTML5. While Apple's App Store is
beyond popular and packed with applications-a format that Google, Nokia,
Research In Motion and others have worked to duplicate-the Times source said
that Microsoft will instead "encourage software partners to host the applications
on their own Websites, which will then be highlighted in a search interface on
Whether the applications will be in any state to show off at CES was
Samsung and Dell currently offer tablets running Google's Android operating
system, and in early 2011, Hewlett-Packard and BlackBerry maker Research In Motion
will also join the tablet market. Lesser-known brands such as Archos, Huawei
and Haleron also have tablets running Android.
Research firm iSuppli expects 2010 to close with tablet shipments reaching
13.8 million units and rising to 63.3 million units by 2012.
In a Dec. 14 report, iSuppli also said it anticipates that converged devices
such as the iPad and competing tablets will
have "massive implications" for entire industries beyond consumer
electronics, while mobile operating systems additionally gain in traction and
"Even with Microsoft's stumbles to date in tablets," said the report,
"iSuppli believes that Microsoft will figure out how to design a functional
tablet operating system."
It added that Apple is likely to "evolve iOS and an iPad into a creation
platform that is 100 percent compatible with the Windows-dominated PC
The Apple iPad currently holds a 95.5 percent share of the global tablet
market, according to a Nov. 2 report from Strategy Analytics, which reported growth
of 26 percent in the market during the third quarter. The Android OS accounted
for a 2.9 percent share of the third-quarter tablet market, which was up from
2.3 percent the quarter before.
"The tablet wars are up and running," Strategy Analytics analyst Neil
Mawston said in a statement. "Android, Microsoft, MeeGo, WebOS, BlackBerry and
other platforms are trailing in Apple's wake and they already have much ground
to make up."
Michelle Maisto has been covering the enterprise mobility space for a decade, beginning with Knowledge Management, Field Force Automation and eCRM, and most recently as the editor-in-chief of Mobile Enterprise magazine. She earned an MFA in nonfiction writing from Columbia University, and in her spare time obsesses about food. Her first book, The Gastronomy of Marriage, if forthcoming from Random House in September 2009.