Ballmer: Windows 7 slates coming "as soon as they're ready".

We’re all very interested in learning more about Microsoft’s plan to respond to Apple’s iPad, and during a speech given at Microsoft’s Financial Analysts Meeting, CEO Steve Ballmer shared some more on Microsoft’s strategies for slate computing. Crushing the dreams of some, Ballmer revealed that there isn’t currently a slate-version of Windows Phone 7 in the works. Instead Microsoft will focus on bringing more Windows 7-powered slates to the market, working with partners to create slates with longer battery life (mentioning Intel’s OakTrail processor) and a more ‘tuned’ software experience.

Ballmer also talked about Apple’s iPad, a device that has “sold certainly more than [he’d] like them to sell”. He claims that contrary to Apple’s one-size-fits-all approach, Microsoft’s approach will give users choice of hardware – such as size, shape, color, along with the choice of convertible or slate models. He also praised the work that the Windows team has done on touch-technologies such as ink (handwriting recognition), which means that styli are still a part of Microsoft’s vision for touch computing.

Many questions remain unanswered though – such as will there be minimum requirements imposed on manufacturers or will there be any kind of slate/tablet app store? And perhaps the question on everyone’s lips – will Windows Phone 7’s Metro UI evolve into a tablet OS?

Many believed that with HP closing the doors on its slate project, and the mythical Courier project being officially shut down, Microsoft was out of the game. Ballmer certainly doesn’t agree with that theory. Expect to see new Windows 7 slate devices in a store near you “as soon as they’re ready”, or as Ballmer stated a month ago, this holiday season.

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I don't care who or what you are, Apple is great in what they can do but you will NEVER beat Microsoft (Windows) in what they have and will do. It's always good to have some sort of Competition. Take a look at ATI and Nvidia. Same thing. Apple is great at some things where Windows is great at allot more. My opinion.

iPad is an ebook/magazine and web browsing machine. Media consumption is what it is good at and not productivity.

A windows 7 slate will probably have more focus on productivity applications but be less suitable for media consumption given the performance hit from running a full featured OS and the impact this will have on battery life.

Shadrack said,
iPad is an ebook/magazine and web browsing machine. Media consumption is what it is good at and not productivity.

A windows 7 slate will probably have more focus on productivity applications but be less suitable for media consumption given the performance hit from running a full featured OS and the impact this will have on battery life.

A slate/pad and heavy productivity seems a contradiction to me. Moving to cloud and webapps will reduce the need more and more. Also W7 touch awareness is a mile away from being a dedicated mobile touch orientated platform.

MS needs to put some resources in the EXOPC, this slate looks to be the best designed slate coming out anytime soon

11 inch screen
Pineview CPU
2Gb ram
GPS
64GB SSD
Broadcom HD chip

It has it's own touch gui layer which runs on top of Win7 and it has it's own app store. There is already a large dev community making apps for the Gui layer.

Currently supposed to come out in September ever preview from independent sites have given it rave reviews. This slate from top to bottom has been designed to be a killer.

http://www.exopc.com

I wonder what's wrong with all these people that say how this tablet will never make it and how MS should just give up. So what, just leave Apple to have full swing of the tablet market? Do we really want a monopoly run by anyone in any market?

Testing here Windows Embedded Compact Standard 7 and is doing very well, it is compatible with every application I have and it extends my little netbook battery for 1 more hour.

Have Microsoft learned from all the previous attempts ?

It just seems like an excuse to get Windows on another type of device without actually thinking, will it be any better than average ?

OceanMotion said,

It just seems like an excuse to get Windows on another type of device without actually thinking, will it be any better than average ?

Everyone of their products relies on the windows PC monopoly. Once that dies, so does microsoft. As I said previously, MS effectively has a distribution monopoly with the OEM's because of shady tactics to eliminate the competition (which is bad for the consumer). Without that iron grip on OEM's, MS is just an inferior software supplier.

I wonder what the experience would be like if you just take an XP-era tablet PC and install 7 on it...I mean, the OS is already touch-aware...

It might not be *optimal*, but shouldn't anything work at all?

mrmckeb said,
There wouldn't be multi-touch, and probably no non-stylus touch.

All depends on the hardware in the machine. I got a Toshiba Satellite R10 Tablet PC back in 2005. It runs 7 very well, better than Vista ran, and arguably better than XP. Digitizer and handwriting recognition work as they did before. But getting the screen to rotate from landscape to portrait - good luck. Intel hasn't released drivers for Windows 7 for the graphics hardware, so you're stuck with landscape. And you'd have to live without Aero.

Yesterday I ordered an Asus Eee PC T101MT for under $500. Planning on upgrading Windows 7 Starter to Enterprise, and in the near future probably adding another 1GB of RAM. It has yet to arrive in the mail but I think it'll be an awesome machine for what I need it for.

satanist said,
“Apple's iPad sold certainly more than [ballmer] like them to sell” What an idiot. I hate this guy so much.

Why? You know him personally?

Is it just me or is the market for "slate" devices not as big as everyone seems to think it is? Apple sells a ton of iPads because they're...Apple. They could market ice cubes to Eskimos as this point. Doesn't mean there's a superhuge market for a ton of like-minded devices out there.

lordcanti86 said,
Is it just me or is the market for "slate" devices not as big as everyone seems to think it is? Apple sells a ton of iPads because they're...Apple. They could market ice cubes to Eskimos as this point. Doesn't mean there's a superhuge market for a ton of like-minded devices out there.

I think the one market that a crafty hardware vendor could tailor their Tablet towards; the ruggedized tablet market. I work in telecommunications and there is nothing worse than being 30' up a pole and have to mess with a laptop. A ruggedized slate connected to my line of business software would be invaluable.

Exosphere said,
re: “as soon as they're ready”
It would be real news if they were out BEFORE they were ready

No MS would be Apple, still not news.

It will take them a long time until they can catch up with the iPad. I think they will fail, they tried this before years ago. They are waisting their time.

argentum76 said,
It will take them a long time until they can catch up with the iPad. I think they will fail, they tried this before years ago. They are waisting their time.

Apple does have a major advantage in the form of its an Apple product so it doesn't really matter how good it is, Microsoft will have to sell these for their merits and not just relie on a smoke and mirrors business strategy.

thealexweb said,

Apple does have a major advantage in the form of its an Apple product so it doesn't really matter how good it is, Microsoft will have to sell these for their merits and not just relie on a smoke and mirrors business strategy.

Ok, ok no need to exaggerate. If apple design a iTurd i am not gonna buy it . MS is also missing one vital part: a good mobile OS.

argentum76 said,
It will take them a long time until they can catch up with the iPad. I think they will fail, they tried this before years ago. They are waisting their time.

iPad is the worst thing ever. No usb, closed platform, complete turn off

Borix said,

Ok, ok no need to exaggerate. If apple design a iTurd i am not gonna buy it . MS is also missing one vital part: a good mobile OS.

Windows CE has been and is a good mobile OS, the fact OEMs can't use it right isn't MS's fault. MS gives them the OS and tells them to use it how they want, if they fail at doing it right you should blame them.

GP007 said,

Windows CE has been and is a good mobile OS, the fact OEMs can't use it right isn't MS's fault. MS gives them the OS and tells them to use it how they want, if they fail at doing it right you should blame them.

Yes, they've been doing it for years, and have you ever wondered why they've never been able to win the market. Maybe people are not looking for full OS on a tablet. Dont quote me again the "If Apple sells a iTurd, people will buy it" quote.... If that is true, Apple TV would have been as successful as the iPad and iPhone. The point is that Apple has great market researchers and designers. They can see where the demand lies and what customers want.
They've overtaken market share that Windows have been trying to get in for years....
They must be doing something right... Don't you think so?

Euphoria said,

Yes, they've been doing it for years, and have you ever wondered why they've never been able to win the market. Maybe people are not looking for full OS on a tablet. Dont quote me again the "If Apple sells a iTurd, people will buy it" quote.... If that is true, Apple TV would have been as successful as the iPad and iPhone. The point is that Apple has great market researchers and designers. They can see where the demand lies and what customers want.
They've overtaken market share that Windows have been trying to get in for years....
They must be doing something right... Don't you think so?

Didn't the iPad only sell like 3 million so far? And the iPhone has what, 20-25% of the smartphone marketshare?

Apple doesn't advertise its Apple TV product. With the iPhone / iPad it's heavily advertised and marketed as something never seen before. People believe it = people buy it. And when it comes to marketing Apple is unrivaled, hell you still have a ton of people who believe they invented the mp3 player and touch screen phones.

MS on the other hand is completely dependent on their partners. It's mostly upto the partners to market and make their products. MS just gives them the software.

Also, Apple is a cutesy trend setting company. MS has predominately, until recently, been a business company. The WinMo platform was never really designed to be for consumers until HTC came along and started designing shells like TouchFlo and Sense.

Same thing applies to the tablet PC market. They aren't designed for the general consumer. As a work / classroom product tablet pcs are awesome, I can take all my engineering notes on them (onenote is also excellent) simply by just writing on the screen. It would be pointless to try and take engineering notes / formulas on the iPad, it would just be too inconvenient and slow. And hell if I was to plug in a keyboard...might as well bring my laptop along instead and use an actual word editor or onenote. And even then it wouldn't be the same level of ease.

argentum76 said,
It will take them a long time until they can catch up with the iPad. I think they will fail, they tried this before years ago. They are waisting their time.

Agreed. The difference between the pc and the portable device (excluding laptops/netbooks) OEM's is that MS has a tyrannical grip on the former, and little to no influence any more in the latter. We all know the tactics MS has used in the past and still to this very day to maintain its PC monopoly; those wont work with tablets or phones, so in a word, they actually have to compete fairly, and we all know they can't do that (not even able to match features of current devices).

I predict poor sales of wp7 and any future tablet device analogous to the kin.

We all know the tactics MS has used in the past and still to this very day to maintain its PC monopoly; those wont work with tablets or phones, so in a word, they actually have to compete fairly, and we all know they can't do that (not even able to match features of current devices).

Really? Well coming from someone called LoveThePenguin, I didn't expect anything better.

The iPhone was unable to match the features of WinMo when it was first released and is still unable to match the features of Android. Yet it sales well.

I predict poor sales of wp7 and any future tablet device analogous to the kin.

Yes WP7 and tablet devices are similar to the kin

Go back under your rock.

2xSilverKnight said,

iPad is the worst thing ever. No usb, closed platform, complete turn off

Which is why they're selling at the rate of 1 every 3 seconds. Its ok to acknowledge a products success. It doesn't make you an Apple fanboy. It just means you can be objective about something.

Sometimes it's nice just to know something is in the works. I'd rather that than have a product rushed out the door before it was consumer-ready and then being told it didn't work because I was holding it wrong.

Darrian said,
Sometimes it's nice just to know something is in the works. I'd rather that than have a product rushed out the door before it was consumer-ready and then being told it didn't work because I was holding it wrong.

The subject here is MS, who have missed the mobile bandwagon complete in the last years. You can wait, but MS are not gonna deliver. They just don't have the right combination of hard and software.
Off course a poke at Apple is easy, but MS have nothing to show that is remotely competitive and that is infinitive more embarrassing than the iPhone 4 hassle.
MS in all their wisdom were anticipating only faster, bigger PC's, so never came up with the idea of a lean OS instead of their usual bulk. Now they are caught with their throwers down and it will take long time (or forever) to catch up.

Edited by Borix, Jul 30 2010, 12:05pm :

Darrian said,
Sometimes it's nice just to know something is in the works. I'd rather that than have a product rushed out the door before it was consumer-ready and then being told it didn't work because I was holding it wrong.

Do you mean like WP7?

Borix said,

The subject here is MS, who have missed the mobile bandwagon complete in the last years. You can wait, but MS are not gonna deliver. They just don't have the right combination of hard and software.
Off course a poke at Apple is easy, but MS have nothing to show that is remotely competitive and that is infinitive more embarrassing than the iphone4 hassle.

Windows Phone 7 has shown to me that Microsoft can deliver and are competitive. I don't need multi-tasking or copy and paste, just yet; Windows Phone 7 fits my wants perfectly right now.

Borix said,

Off course a poke at Apple is easy, but MS have nothing to show that is remotely competitive and that is infinitive more embarrassing than the iPhone 4 hassle.
MS in all their wisdom were anticipating only faster, bigger PC's, so never came up with the idea of a lean OS instead of their usual bulk. Now they are caught with their throwers down and it will take long time (or forever) to catch up.

Catch up? The only way I'd consider buying such a device is if it were capable or running a "real" operating system. I think it's great that they're working on a tablet with Windows 7 on it. If they developed a slimmed down "neutered" operating system for it I wouldn't touch it. That's the primary reason I won't even consider buying an iPad; if it had Snow Leopard on it I'd probably have one already.

Calum said,

Windows Phone 7 has shown to me that Microsoft can deliver and are competitive. I don't need multi-tasking or copy and paste, just yet; Windows Phone 7 fits my wants perfectly right now.

I seem to remember one of the big anti-apple lines for the first couple versions of iOS was that it didnt have either of these things. wth is going on when the argument is being reversed O_O

Darrian said,

Catch up? The only way I'd consider buying such a device is if it were capable or running a "real" operating system. I think it's great that they're working on a tablet with Windows 7 on it. If they developed a slimmed down "neutered" operating system for it I wouldn't touch it. That's the primary reason I won't even consider buying an iPad; if it had Snow Leopard on it I'd probably have one already.

I think the same. I only believe it will take a long time before a W7/slate combination will become reality. Just ask yourself why a slate has not materialized yet and why Apple combines iOS with iPad and not OSX.

Darrian said,

Catch up? The only way I'd consider buying such a device is if it were capable or running a "real" operating system. I think it's great that they're working on a tablet with Windows 7 on it. If they developed a slimmed down "neutered" operating system for it I wouldn't touch it. That's the primary reason I won't even consider buying an iPad; if it had Snow Leopard on it I'd probably have one already.

Yes, but that's only you and the rest of the 1% of consumers, that would consider running a full OS on a tablet.

Borix said,

I think the same. I only believe it will take a long time before a W7/slate combination will become reality. Just ask yourself why a slate has not materialized yet and why Apple combines iOS with iPad and not OSX.

There are Windows 7 tablet pcs out there. And there have been tablet pcs around since like what? 2003? Just because Apple does something, doesn't suddenly make it right. There are people who prefer having a full OS on a tablet pc since they want it as a work device, and MS has been happily catering to them for years now.

AdmiralRooster said,

I seem to remember one of the big anti-apple lines for the first couple versions of iOS was that it didnt have either of these things. wth is going on when the argument is being reversed O_O

Hypocrisy at its best.

bluefisch200 said,
"as soon as they're ready" - mind-blowing

I'm shocked. I thought he was planning to ship those before they were ready. I'm so disappointed now.

Northgrove said,

I'm shocked. I thought he was planning to ship those before they were ready. I'm so disappointed now.

Haha good one!

Northgrove said,

I'm shocked. I thought he was planning to ship those before they were ready. I'm so disappointed now.

lol +1