Computex 2010 to feature iPad rivals

Windows 7 and Google's Android will battle for the tablet computer market at this year's show

The Computex Taipei electronics show will celebrate its 30th anniversary when it opens next Tuesday, and will highlight several new tablet computers hoping to compete against Apple's iPad as well as a slew of other electronic gadgets.

Companies also plan to display a number of new gadgets aimed at Internet connectivity and mobility, as well as e-readers, laptops, netbooks, all-in-one desktop computers and 3D (3-dimensional) displays including glasses-free 3D digital signs and photo frames.

People are watching the show closely to see which operating system wins out at Computex. So far, Asustek Computer and Micro-Star International (MSI) have revealed plans to unveil tablets running Microsoft Windows 7 at Computex, despite showing off prototype tablets running Google's Android mobile software earlier this year.

Acer, the world's second largest PC vendor, showed off a prototype tablet with a 7-inch screen running Android at a press conference in Beijing this week, but did not say if it would also be shown at Computex or when it might be launched on global markets.

Computex is an important battleground for companies because products displayed at the exhibition are normally on store shelves by the end of the year, and often shortly after the show ends.

The location of the trade show, Taiwan, is also the center of the computer manufacturing industry, and global technology companies often turn to Taiwanese companies with new technologies they hope to promote to the PC industry.

Roy Chen, worldwide mobile computing ODM manager at chip developer Arm Holdings, predicts numerous Android devices, from smartphones to TV set-top-boxes, will be on display at Computex this year, as well as Google's Cloud-focused Chrome OS. "The hottest story at Computex would be Android tablets from many of the top major manufacturers," he said in a blog posting on Thursday.

Like many chip makers, Arm often gains an inside view of products its chips are being used in due to partnership programs and engineering support.

About a dozen other tablet computers are expected at the show, boasting numerous OSs and chips from companies including Intel, Arm and Via Technologies.

Computex's organizers say 1,715 manufacturers will peddle their wares at Computex this year, with a strong showing from global PC industry giants Microsoft and Intel. Exhibitors will take up 4,861 booths at Taipei's World Trade Center and Nangang Exhibition Hall.

Microsoft expects around 60 global hardware makers to display hundreds of new products using its Windows OSs, including smartphones, tablets, all-in-ones and netbooks, the company said.

The exhibition runs June 1 to June 5.

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Tags iPadacertablet PCsAsustekComputex 2010ODM

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Dan Nystedt

IDG News Service
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