Windows 8 beta and tablets slated for CES Ballmer keynote

Microsoft to demo better iPads than iPad, running Windows 7, some with keyboards. We also hope for news of the Windows 8 beta release date.

Steve Ballmer (Der Tommy @ Picasaweb)
By Richi Jennings. December 14, 2010.

Steve Ballmer is expected to show off Windows slates next month, at CES 2011 in Las Vegas. Microsoft's partners are said to be producing interesting tablet designs that don't just ape the iPad. We may also hear news of a Windows 8 beta. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers book tickets for sin city.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention 30 O'Clock, Recursive Word, Bank Brain, Recursive Installer, and more Error'd...


Nick Bilton is in bits:

Microsoft has struggled to gain traction with a slate-like device, yet each year the company ... promotes a world of Windows-based slate computers. ... Next month, at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show ... Microsoft will give it another try, presenting ... some competition to the Apple iPad.


Steve Ballmer, Microsoft’s chief executive, is expected to announce a number of these devices when he takes the stage ... showcasing devices built by Samsung and Dell, among a number of others. ... Another person ... said Steve Ballmer might demonstrate a tablet and other companion devices running ... Windows 8.

  Mary-Jo Foley has déjà vu:

Sounds like CES 2010 revisited, doesn’t it? Last year, the centerpiece of Ballmer’s keynote was an HP slate prototype.


If Microsoft does show off Windows 8 in January, I will be very surprised. ... But it might ... silence some of the continued criticism of Microsoft’s lack of a true answer to the iPad. ... As we know from a leaked slide deck ... Microsoft is making sure that Windows 8 will run well on slates. But ... Windows 8 is not yet approaching the finish line. Or even the beta starting line ... some say — a public beta by Fall 2011.

Harry McCracken compares and contrasts:

This year’s slate PCs were basically Windows 7 laptops with touchscreens and the keyboards chopped off. ... The 2011 versions ... involve features like slide-out keyboards and user interfaces that differ depending on whether the device is held in landscape or portrait.


If Microsoft figures out a way to make Windows make sense on computers that don’t have physical keyboards ... I’ll be impressed. After all, it’s been trying for a decade.

Joanna Stern makes an educated guess:

The CES 2010 Ballmernote has become something of a black mark for Microsoft -- the company's delivered almost nothing in the year after Steve ... talked about future Windows 7 Slate PCs.


It looks like the keynote will include ... a new Samsung device that sports a "slick" slide out keyboard -- we'd put money on that being the 10.1-inch Gloria.

Nick Farrell inquires:

Microsoft has always thought that there was a huge market for business tablets from executives who want to use a tablet for reading newspapers and magazines. Of course the Vole's fondest dream is that they will also want to use its Microsoft Office ... for doing work.

And Brier Dudley has more questions than answers:

Still unanswered are key questions about the next generation of Windows tablets: When exactly will they go on sale, and how much will they cost? If they're $1,000, they'll die the same quick death as Microsoft's ultra-mobile PC concept.

But Warner Crocker isn't surprised:

Let’s just hope Ballmer looks a bit more excited than he was last year when he played “me too” at CES 2010.

And Finally...

30 O'Clock, Recursive Word, Bank Brain, Recursive Installer, and more Error'd

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.


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