Microsoft plans to reveal a new line of Windows 7 tablets during January's Consumer Electronic Show, according to unnamed sources speaking to The New York Times.
According to those sources, a Windows tablet by Samsung will reportedly be "similar in size and shape to the Apple iPad," although "not as thin." It will also feature a "slick" slide-out keyboard, and run Windows 7 in landscape mode with "a layered interface that will appear when the keyboard is hidden." The Dec. 13 article also suggests that Dell and other manufacturers will produce tablets.
Microsoft's goal, of course, is to swipe some mind- and market-share from both the Apple iPad and the growing ranks of Android-based tablets. Company CEO Steve Ballmer will apparently debut the devices during his keynote at CES, in essence repeating his performance at this year's conference, when he unveiled tablets from Hewlett-Packard and a pair of smaller manufacturers.
Hewlett-Packard subsequently acquired Palm, leading to rampant speculation that it would replace Windows as a tablet operating system with the Palm WebOS. While HP will reportedly use WebOS for a selection of consumer-oriented tablets in 2011, it also produced a more enterprise-focused Windows 7 device: The HP Slate 500, which features a 8.9-inch touch-screen, inward- and outward-facing cameras for video conferencing, and a 1.86GHz Intel Atom Z540 processor.
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