Say what you will about Ballmer, but one thing he isn’t is boring. During Microsoft’s annual meeting with financial analysts yesterday, Ballmer took some time to address Microsoft’s position regarding tablets while touching upon Apple’s sudden and successful entry into the market.
“Apple has done an interesting job,” Ballmer said. “They’ve sold more than I’d like them to sell. We think about that. So it’s our job to say: we have got to make things happen. Just like we made things happen with netbooks, we have to do that with slates.”
If you recall, Microsoft quasi-muscled its way into the netbook market by practically giving away copies of Windows XP to hardware manufacturers who were otherwise using Linux. And as an aside, what’s up with Ballmer still using the term ‘slate’?
In any event, Ballmer couldn’t overemphasize enough Microsoft’s commitment to the tablet market, calling it a “job one urgency.”
Ballmer didn’t specify when Windows style tablet devices would hit the market, simply remarking that “they’ll be shipping as soon as they are ready.”
As for what users might expect in a next-gen Windows tablet, Ballmer noted that Microsoft has invested in touch, ink, and mark up annotation, and they’re trying to bring it all together “to deliver slates and convertibles people will be excited about.”
Meanwhile, Apple has already sold 3.27 million iPads and counting. Much like what we may see with the release of Windows Phone 7, Redmond’s efforts may very well be too little too late. In any event, and of course we wouldn’t expect anything less, Ballmer couldn’t help but taking a tiny jab at Apple’s “magical” tablet.
“I don’t think there is one size that fits all […] I’ve been to too many meetings with journalists who spent the first 10 minutes of the meeting setting up iPad to look like a laptop.” As if Windows based tablets would be any different.
via Business Insider