Dell is currently planning its first Windows 8 Slate in early 2012 according to leaked documents.
The documents reveal that the OEM has marked Q1 2012 as its date for a Windows 8 based slate. It’s not clear how old the leaked materials are but given that Microsoft has yet to finalize its third milestone for Windows 8, it’s unlikely that the date is accurate. Android Central posted the leaked slides from Dell and claims that the company is planning to release a Windows 7 Slate in June this year.
Microsoft has promised a “major revamp” of Windows for slate applications, that will come in the next version, Windows 8. The software giant has been criticized for its slow response to Apple’s iPad device, introduced in April, 2010. Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, previously said Windows 7 based Slates would be available “as soon as they’re ready” when questioned earlier in 2010. Microsoft’s hardware partners introduced a range of new form factors at CES, a mix between traditional Slates and laptops.
Samsung unveiled its Sliding PC 7 series Windows 7 Slate hybrid at CES earlier this year. The device features Intel’s 1.66GHz Z670 Oak Trail processor, 10.1″ touchscreen, 32GB SSD and 2GB of RAM. The tablet weighs just 2.1 pounds and will retail in March for $699. The iPad currently retails at $499 and sold three million units in its first 80 days of release. The iPad is currently selling approximately 4.5 million units per quarter, Bernstein Research estimates.
Microsoft Chairman, Bill Gates, said earlier last year that the company has a lot of different tablet projects it is pursuing. Microsoft canceled their internal Courier project shortly after the release of the iPad. The project was an innovative new tablet concept that had promised to combine a dual screen book design with finger and stylus input. The leaked promotional materials demonstrated various concepts that would have brought an unparalleled productivity tool to the market. Most media outlets and analysts felt the move to cancel the device was a mistake.
Dell also unveiled a hybrid “touch and type” Windows 7 Slate device in late November. The device currently retails at at $549 in U.S. stores.