back to article Microsoft boss to wave tablets in CES faces – again

Microsoft is reportedly going to attempt to conjure some magic from slate computing at next month's CES event in Las Vegas. According to the New York Times, which cites people familiar with the matter, Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer will announce a number of devices built by hardware pals Samsung, Dell and others. Apparently, …


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  1. Bilgepipe
    Gates Horns

    How many?

    Second.. no, third, time lucky, eh?

    Ballmer must have had his embarrassment gland removed - I'd have crawled into a hole about six years ago in his shoes.

    Send from my Courier. No, wait...

  2. Robert Moore

    Brilliant business plan

    Keep showing my products that are not available anywhere.

    I get excited about tablets.

    I buy an iPad.

    How much is Apple paying for all this fantastic advertising?

    1. Goat Jam
      Gates Horns

      Showing off Vapourware

      Microsoft Standard Operating Procedure since the early eighties.

      Back in the day, whenever a new "computing paradigm" or "killer app" emerged (and there were lots back then) Bill Gates would stand up and announce that Microsoft were going to release the same thing Real Soon Now and that people should just wait for that.

      Sure enough, most people would indeed sit back and wait for the MS version of whatever it was to come along.

      It doesn't work so well these days of course, but Monkey Boy has always been a bit slow on the uptake it seems.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Tsk! Don't be silly!

    When the aide asked Mr Ballmer to "keep taking the tablets" it was not a reminder for the consumer fair - it was a reinforcement of a medical instruction?

  4. Giles Jones Gold badge


    Even if they come up with a tablet that runs Windows 7 well, most people will say "where can I plug my keyboard and mouse in" or "bigger monitor".

    These aren't tablet computers, they're just small form factor laptops (minus keyboard).

  5. ThomH

    One day we'll all reminisce...

    "Remember the period 2000—, when Microsoft attempted to gain market traction with tablet computers at CES every single year?"

  6. Jeff-4477

    Microsoft barking up the wrong UI

    Microsoft is caught between a rock and, well, Windows. In its ongoing pursuit of maintaining the relevancy of Windows, Microsoft has bolted its floorboards to a mouse-centric UI - all the while the world is moving towards touch-centric UI. Trying to adapt Windows to a touch-centric low-resource environment is like Formula 1 racing with a dump truck.

    Driven by the never-ending desire to avoid "cannibalism" (having anything at Microsoft compete with Windows or Office), Microsoft has deftly avoided putting itself in the position of being able to really compete with the iPad. It certainly has the resources, but it would need to (among other things) aggressively build an application community which is separate from Windows (shockers!). This will certainly happen - after Windows revenue has dropped by about 50%, and then it will be a way-too-late act of desperation.

  7. Youngone Silver badge

    Best CEO ever

    I'm sure that if I was wrong as often as Steve is, I'd be sacked. In my job, (technical, not management) there's an expectation that I know what I'm doing.

    Wish I got paid like him too.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ballmer's last stand?

    If he can't get some product out the door and making an impact, how much more patience are the markets, let alone the shareholders, going to have with Cap'n Sweatstain?

  9. Anonymous Coward

    But will it...

    toast my crotch enough that I don't have to worry about birth control anymore like my other Windows laptops?

  10. Wibble

    Struth, is that it?

    Steve, Windows aint right on a tablet format machine. It didn't work with Windows 3.10, nor XP and it's not going to work for whatever your latest monster's called.

    Oh yes, I remember, you're not good at listening.

    iOS and Android aren't perfect, but they're a hell of a lot more optimised for diddy devices than a full-blown OS such as OSX^H^H^H Windows whatever Hence Apple have flogged more iPads in a few months than have ever been sold in nigh-on 20 years of windows for tablets..

    I give up. You're not listening and you're late to market. Ye reaps what ye sows.

    But then again, maybe a miracle awaits us.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    HP Slate 500 shipped

    Sure, didn't make it into shops (regrettably), but the HP Slate that Ballmer was waving around at CES last year did indeed ship in 2010 via HP's website.

    A good "1.0" version, I have high hopes for the 650 or whatever is next (the 550 is still not as good as my old circa 2004 HP TC1100 *sigh*).

    Anyway, for those that know it and use it (and tweak it), Windows is excellent on slates and convertibles for the touch and ink experience.

    Here's hoping the choices finally get better in the coming year, and the manufacturers will make those useful tweaks PART OF THE DAMN DEFAULTS for a change... too many of the anti-windows reviews on touch devices would be averted by some simple explorer and app tweaks, FFS.

  12. Swanny

    Welcome aboard the fail boat!

    Poor Ballmer has had one too many chairs bounce back and hit him in the head.

    Until they dump windows and come up with a O/S thats tablet by design all they have is fail except for the occasional fanboi purchase.

    Waits patiently for a Android 2.3 capacitive screen china-pad

  13. thecakeis(not)alie

    Holy crap.

    Microsoft is still around and making fuilte attempts to be "relevant" outside the depths of the server room!


    1. paul-s

      So You Say MS is Relevant

      *in* the server room? Since when?

      1. thecakeis(not)alie


        Whilst (nearly) any individual Microsoft application can be surpassed by alternatives, no set of alternatives interoperates as well as Microsoft's gear. Say what you will: but the complete Microsoft "stack" is actually a fairly compelling case in and of itself for it's own existence. It works well when it works together; but you have to be prepared for very nearly a Microsoft monoculture in the server room.

        Thanks to the diversity of good product working well together, they aren’t going to be driven out by a bunch of great products that need lots of TLC to even know about one another’s existence. Well, not yet anyways…

  14. Mike01Hu

    Touch it up!

    When a true touch+pressure sensitive OS that gives Windows app integration with Andoid's zip and is not related to a fruit, I'll buy . . . oh, and on a phone that works as a phone! Until then I'll stick with my HTC Desire and HP tx2530 tablet PC. Pads are for the incontinent aren't they?

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