Microsoft doesn't have a tablet PC on the market, but it hasn't been for lack of trying: ever since Comdex 2000, when they showed off a prototype slate with the ‚Äúintuitive aspects of pencil and paper,‚Äù the software giant has tried — and failed — to launch a handheld flat-panel unit. (Then again, outside of mice and the odd keyboard, MS has never really been a "hardware" company…)
Could 2011 be the year that MS "goes flat?"
That's the buzz heading into next month's Consumer Electronics Expo, as sources close to Microsoft prexie Steve Ballmer suggest that MS will unveil a brace of tablets from Samsung, Dell, and other manufacturers. The Samsung tablet in particular is slated to run Windows 7 in landscape mode, a custom layered interface in portrait mode, and — in keeping with the "work vs. play" aesthetic that has characterized Microsoft vs. Apple over the decades — a slide-out keyboard. As one source put it, ‚ÄúThe company believes there is a huge market for business people who want to enjoy a slate for reading newspapers and magazines and then work on Microsoft Word, Excel or PowerPoint while doing work.‚Äù
As expected, no official word from MS their plans.
[Via the New York Times]