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Report: Microsoft to Unveil Tablets at CES

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 7:28am
Andrew Berg

Microsoft could makes its presence felt in the tablet market with the unveiling of a bevy of new slate unveilings at this year's Consumer Electronics Show that runs Jan. 6-9, according to a report from The New York Times, citing people familiar with the matter.

During his keynote at the show, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer apparently will be showing off a whole line of slates based on the company's Windows 7 PC operating system. According to the report, Ballmer is set to show off tablets from Dell and Samsung, among other manufacturers.

The report describes the Samsung device as "similar in size and shape to the Apple iPad, although it is not as thin. It also includes a unique and slick keyboard that slides out from below for easy typing."

The company hopes to compete with Apple by offering tablets that go beyond the consumer realm and offer more business-related applications and features.

Microsoft will reportedly not be offering applications from an app store but instead will encourage its software partners to host HTML5-based applications on their website.

Those looking for a Microsoft slate unveiling at last year's Consumer Electronics Show left disappointed. Ballmer took the stage in a highly publicized keynote but failed to produce anything more than a brief flash of the now-released HP Slate.

Microsoft has struggled to find its place in the tablet market. Just months after last year's CES, the company announced that it was shelving the highly-anticipated Courier project, a double-screen tablet.

In a blog on the company's website, Frank Shaw, head of Microsoft's PR, wrote that, "At any given time, across any of our business groups, there are new ideas being investigated, tested and incubated...The 'Courier' project is an example of this type of effort and its technologies will be evaluated for use in future Microsoft offerings."

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