Ballmer slates Windows tablet for holidays; iPad fanbois laugh

By Richi Jennings. October 6, 2010.

Steve Ballmer (Der Tommy @ Picasaweb)
Top hole, old chap! Steve Ballmer is in London, talking more about Microsoft's tablet plans. He's promising products for the holidays (or, "Christmas" as we quaintly say in England). We may even see something concrete about Windows slates on Monday. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers make obvious iPad comparisons.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention some proto-viral geek videos...


Jennifer Valentino-DeVries and Lilly Vitorovich tag-team at Ballmer's London pitch:

“You’ll see new slates with Windows on them ... this Christmas,” he said in an address at the London School of Economics. ... There was no further word on crucial points like price, size and manufacturer. ... Microsoft has faced criticism. ... There is concern that it hasn’t had a response to Apple’s iPad ... it could eat into PC sales.


Mr. Ballmer in July said Microsoft has “got to make things happen” with ... tablet devices ... the company was “in the process of doing that right now.”

Tom Warren looks forward to next Monday:

According to sources familiar with the company's plans, Microsoft will hint at its future Slate plans ... at a press event in New York City ... on October 11. The ... main focus is Windows Phone 7 but ... Microsoft officials will speak briefly about the company's future Slate plans.


Ballmer spoke ... later on Tuesday and revealed that Microsoft will be introducing some touch optimizations for Windows 7. ... "We're not going to do a major revamp of Windows 7 for slate applications, that will come in the next version (Windows 8)."

Stuart Miles offers more juicy quotes:

“We as a company will need to cover all form factors. We have done work around the tablet as a productivity device and a consumption device. ... You’ll see them continue to change and evolve. ... We have got to get back seriously into the game of phones.”

Brier Dudley puts it into perspective:

The news follows the bombshell Goldman Sachs report lambasting Microsoft's response to the iPad. ... Analysts are jostling to predict how many iPads Apple has sold so far. ... The estimates ... range from 3.8 million to 6 million.

  About 350 million PCs are expected to be sold this year globally.

But Mary Jo Foley wonders why this is even news:

Most of the reports I’ve read today seem to have forgotten about Ballmer’s summer speeches where he promised the same. ... Ballmer showed a slide listing more than 20 vendors that were on the Windows tablet/slate bandwagon.


I know I wouldn’t want one of this year’s Windows 7 slates under my Christmas tree. The 2011 crop of ... Windows 8 ... slates should be better. If I were Ballmer, I’d stop crowing about Generation 1 ... and wait for something more credible to trumpet.

Larry Magid's got a little list:

To seriously compete with the iPad, the Microsoft tablet must:


1. Start up and shut down instantly

2. Run for 10 hours or more on a charge


5. Run applications that can be easily manipulated with two fingers

6. Not crash

7. Start at under $500


9. Run programs people want to run on a tablet (as opposed to PC software)

10. Be fun to use

  Good luck Steve.

  Meanwhile, Nick Eaton is confused:

Back in June, ... Ballmer made headlines by saying Windows tablets were "Job One urgency". ... In Sunday's Wall Street Journal, Ballmer said, "Job One here will be selling a lot of phones." ... Today Ballmer said he is more "keen" on Xbox Kinect than Windows Phone 7.


Which is it, Ballmer? ... How many Job Ones do you have?


And Finally...

Is Google Chrome fast? ...and other proto-viral geek videos

Don't miss out on IT Blogwatch:

Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcher
  Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can follow him as @richi on Twitter, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email:

You can also read Richi's full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.


Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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