Microsoft has upped the ante on its iPad competitor commercials this week.
The software giant, in association with ASUS, has pumped out four new commercials featuring the ASUS Eee Slate. The new adverts feature businesses, mothers, bloggers and artists, to try and show the practical use of a fully powered Windows 7 machine. Microsoft started advertising its Slate offerings in late February. The software giant has created its own dedicated site for ASUS’s Eee Slate at windows.com/slate. Microsoft’s new commercials are aimed to show how versatile Windows 7 Slates can be by using them in a range of scenarios. The company has no plans to air them on national TV yet but hasn’t ruled this out in future.
Microsoft’s advertizing blitz follows the introduction of Apple’s 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.