Microsoft starts advertising Windows 7 Slates

By Tom Warren, on 7th Mar 11 3:35 pm with 16 Comments

Microsoft has started to advertise Windows 7 based Slates as the company attempts to fight off competition from Apple’s iPad device.

The software giant has created its own dedicated site for ASUS’s Eee Slate at windows.com/slate. Microsoft has also created several commercials for the new ASUS Slate device. The adverts are aimed to show how versatile Windows 7 Slates can be by swapping from using them as a desktop PC to a Tablet in seconds. The company has no plans to air them on national TV yet but hasn’t ruled this out in future.

Microsoft’s advertizing blitz kicked off days before Apple introduced its newest iPad. Apple’s latest iPad 2 features a dual-core CPU, 9x faster graphics and is slimmer and lighter than the previous generation. The company has also included front and rear cameras for use with FaceTime. Microsoft’s hardware partners have slowly been producing iPad rivals. 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 ways 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. Microsoft rarely acknowledges the iPad or its sales influence. Windows general product manager Gavriella Schuster previously admitted that netbooks running Windows are “definitely getting cannibalised” by the iPad.

Microsoft is waiting for Windows 8 until it unveils its full Slate strategy. However, the company may introduce Windows 8 ARM based tablets ahead of a full desktop release. Microsoft’s competitive tablet strategy is believed to be further along than expected. Dell’s recently leaked Tablet Roadmap revealed that the OEM has marked Q1 2012 as its date for a Windows 8 based slate. WinRumors understands that Microsoft has been working on an ARM based version of Windows for nearly a year and that it is laboring hard to bring this to the market as soon as possible.

Microsoft is still refusing to talk Windows 8 based Slates however. Microsoft CFO Peter Klein declined to talk Windows 8 or the future of the company’s Slate strategy at a Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference on Wednesday. Klein said the company will share more information on “the next generation of Windows” when it is ready to do so. For now, the company is positioning hybrid Windows 7 devices as the way forward for users who want to create Office docs as well as consume rich media on the go.

  • Ukumio

    Personally, I would rather wait for the apparent tablet friendly UI + features coming in Win8, not that I would be able to afford it mind you.

  • http://twitter.com/efjay01 Ef Jay

    Lets just hope those of us with tablet pc’s will be able to update to Windows 8 when its released, from first hand experience I can say Windows 7 is not very usable as a touch based OS. I have a Fujitsu TH700 and while its nice it would be nice to have a better touch UI to work with.

  • http://twitter.com/bc3tech Brandon

    i think you meant windows.com/slate in that paragraph near the start…

  • Vardig

    to be honest microsoft should be using the Windows Phone GUI…..I think they are going to wait until they align all their names….. so next year…. Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 . . . . its shame to this day they still dont understand that the phone market is fast paced…people lose interest from a phone very quickly and you have to keep refreshing the device…..if things go on like this, I’m going to quite my job and work for microsoft and kick some ass….lol…..someone has to do it !

    • Anonymous

      These morons in Richmond don’t get it. Windows 7 on a table is a bust.

      They are basically wasting money and resources on the failing idea that Windows 7 is suitable for a consumer table.

    • species.zero

      Wait, who’s in Richmond and what do they have to do with Windows 7?
      Ohh, wait, you’re talking about tables, must be a furniture manufacturer that also makes windows.

    • Anonymous

      you know exactly what I meant.

      *Redmond NOT Richmond

    • funny

      LOL

  • http://twitter.com/lpavia Leonardo Pavía

    Too late!!!!

  • Hthenning

    Oh no…this is Windows Mobile 6.5 all over again :-/

    • Anonymous

      Yep, but even worse.

  • Guest

    Good idea. Let’s promote a solution that isn’t competitive and doesn’t really work. That way the few customers who do get conned into buying will be pissed off at MS forever and will migrate to Apple permanently.

    • Anonymous

      Agreed. They don’t get it.

  • Beamisralbo

    id rather let the child draw on the walls than hand over my very expensive piece of hardware.
    I saw someone mentioned if these tablets would work with windows 8 – Im not an expert but I thought windows 8 would run only on arm and if thats the case the processor this is using is not an arm processor.
    Anyways I would rather buy MS than Apple anyday.

  • Manish

    Good alternative untill WIndows 8 comes. Hurry up and make ready Windows8 ready.

  • Zoomer

    “Microsoft Chairman, Bill Gates, said earlier last year that the company has a lot of different tablet projects it is pursuing.”

    He’s still around?