Microsoft’s UK managing director Ashley Highfield has admitted Microsoft won’t produce Tablet software unless it’s distinctive.
Highfield made his comments at a special press event on Monday at London’s saatchi gallery. Speaking to Pocket-Lint, Highfield explained that Microsoft wants to stand out from the crowd. ”We won’t do anything in the tablet market unless we can be distinctive,” he said. The admission comes at a time when the company is preparing its next-generation of Windows, aimed at Tablet form factors. Highfield also admitted that he personally uses a Dell Inspiron Duo. ”We won’t do anything in the tablet market unless we can be distinctive,” he told Pocket-Lint.
Microsoft’s special event on Monday was held to showcase a number of new PCs using Windows 7. The company unveiled its first ever spring collection, featuring 30 models from nine manufacturers. The Windows Collection devices are manufactured by brands such as Sony, Dell, Packard Bell, HP, Lenovo, Toshiba, Acer, Alienware and Scan. The Collection is split into five categories: Everyday; Mobile Companion; Professional; Entertainment and Gaming. Microsoft presented its latest range with Gadget Show hosts Pollyanna Woodward and Ortis Deley. All 30 models are available at major retailers in the UK.
Microsoft is currently working on Windows 8 which is rumored to include an “immersive” tablet user experience. 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 has long been criticized for its lack of a true iPad competitor. Microsoft has started its own advertising blitz featuring the Asus Eee Slate. Steve Ballmer recently showed his own personal Eee Slate device during a speech at Microsoft’s Imagine 2011 conference late last month. 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 is due to retail shortly 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.