Apple Tablet: Microsoft Plans Counter Strike - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Government // Mobile & Wireless

Apple Tablet: Microsoft Plans Counter Strike

Redmond isn't about to let the competition in Cupertino have all the fun when it comes to tech's hottest new category.

Apple is widely expected to launch a tablet style computing device Wednesday with an eye to grabbing first mover's advantage in what's expected to be the PC industry's hot new category for 2010. But Apple may not have the field to itself for long, as rival Microsoft is planning to get in on the tablet action.

For the latest Apple tablet news, opinion and conversation, be sure to check out InformationWeek's Special Report: Tablet Wars -- Can Apple Three-peat?

The difference is that Redmond will likely attack the market through hardware partners like Hewlett-Packard and Acer, rather than introduce a Microsoft-branded device. Indeed, CEO Steve Ballmer demonstrated a prototype HP tablet powered by Windows 7 earlier this month at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

"It's almost as portable as a phone, and as powerful as a PC running Windows 7," Ballmer said at the time. "This emerging category of PCs really should take advantage of the touch and mobility capabilities of Windows 7," he said.

While Microsoft has not announced release dates or prices for tablet PCs, company executives have left little doubt that Windows-powered tablets are coming.

"We started with desktops and laptops, but we added notebooks, now we're adding tablets," said Microsoft Entertainment and Devices division president Robbie Bach, also speaking at CES. "At the high end you add all-in-ones, then you add game machines," said Bach.

"I think the tablet phenomenon is an opportunity," said Bach.

Microsoft may have a leg up in the tablet market in that its current OS, Windows 7, features built-in support for the touch screen capabilities that are mandatory on tablets, given their lack of keyboards and constrained screen real estate.

For its part, Apple is likely to use the same touch-screen OS software that powers the iPhone and iPod on its tablet.

Apple has scheduled a press conference in San Francisco Wednesday, during which it's expected CEO Steve Jobs will announce Apple's tablet. Whether the device is called iTablet, or some other moniker, remains to be seen.

Apple is slated to report quarterly earnings after markets close Monday. Apple shares were up 1.8%, to $201.30, in midday trading.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
News
COVID-19: Using Data to Map Infections, Hospital Beds, and More
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  3/25/2020
Commentary
Enterprise Guide to Robotic Process Automation
Cathleen Gagne, Managing Editor, InformationWeek,  3/23/2020
Slideshows
How Startup Innovation Can Help Enterprises Face COVID-19
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  3/24/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
IT Careers: Tech Drives Constant Change
Advances in information technology and management concepts mean that IT professionals must update their skill sets, even their career goals on an almost yearly basis. In this IT Trend Report, experts share advice on how IT pros can keep up with this every-changing job market. Read it today!
Slideshows
Flash Poll