Ballmer: Microsoft 'months' from tablet launch

Microsoft's CEO is making big promises his company will deliver a plethora of tablets and smartphones in the months ahead.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has announced a bevy of tablets and "smart device" are on their way from the company in the next "several months." Ballmer made the announcement during his keynote speech at the open day of the company's Worldwide Partner Conference in Washington, D.C.

"Over the course of the next several months, you will see a range of Windows 7-based slates that I think you'll find quite impressive," Ballmer told the crowd. Ballmer also said that Microsoft planned to build the tablets with partners Dell, Samsung, and Toshiba. Ballmer added that pricing would be varied with some models priced to compete with Apple's iPad.

Microsoft Tablet? Yeah Right!

Widespread skepticism pervaded however, since Ballmer previously announced the HP-Microsoft tablet, a Slate prototype, in January to an underwhelmed audience. The Slate looked and acted like a color Amazon Kindle and was sent back to the drawing board.

By late April, the struggling project was scrapped by both Microsoft and HP. HP then suddenly moved to buy Palm, an act akin to a drowning man grabbing at any lifeline -- the company hopping aboard the WebOS system rather than using Windows 7. This month HP announced it would use WebOS on a whole gamut of devices. Other manufacturers, such as LG, are also abandoning Windows 7 as it becomes less relevant in the mobile market.

Too Little, Too Late?

Ballmer also admitted that although no release date has been slated yet, smartphones were now a priority. He said a completely reworked Windows Phone 7 now has his complete confidence. The operating system resembles HP's WebOS and now allows apps to be created across devices, unlike its previous incarnation.

Ballmer said Microsoft's poor planning "missed a generation with Windows Mobile," but said that the well-reviewed Windows 7 Phone will guarantee the company market share.

Ballmer speech seemed to be mostly hype with little substance, but he did say that he expected both tablets and phones to be out this year. So soon we will all be able to judge for ourselves.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags tablet PCMicrosofthardware systemstabletstablet PCslaptops

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Barbara Hernandez

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?