Microsoft will demonstrate new Windows based Slate devices at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January.
The software giant is expected to show-off a number of new devices from key hardware partners. The New York Times reports that the company will show devices built by Samsung and Dell. The Samsung device will be a similar size and shape to Apple’s iPad and include a “unique and slick keyboard that slides out from below for easy typing.”
Both the Dell and Samsung devices will run Windows 7 with a custom UI on top for accessing multimedia functions. Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer, is expected to introduce both devices during his CES 2011 keynote.
Microsoft has promised a “major revamp” of Windows for slate applications, that will come in the next version, Windows 8. The New York Times suggests that Ballmer may show off a Windows 8 based Slate but WinRumors understands this is not the case. The software maker may show off a future Tablet/Slate concept device but will not refer to Windows 8 specifically. Microsoft is currently in the planning and preperation stage for Windows 8 and is compiling early milestone builds for product functionality.
Microsoft has been criticized for its slow response to Apple’s iPad device, introduced in April this year. Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, previously said Windows 7 based Slates would be available “as soon as they’re ready” when questioned earlier this year. The iPad sold three million units in its first 80 days of release and is currently selling approximately 4.5 million units per quarter, Bernstein Research estimates.
Microsoft Chairman, Bill Gates, said earlier this 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.
WinRumors will be live from CES 2011 to bring you all the latest Microsoft information, stay tuned.