John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Microsoft Plans “Hardcore” Tablet Thrust

Microsoft is taking a “hardcore” approach to the tablet market.

During his keynote address at the company’s Worldwide Partner Conference in Washington, D.C., this morning, Microsoft (MSFT) CEO Steve Ballmer said the company will soon introduce a number of Windows 7-based slates, targeted at both consumers and enterprises.

“This year one of the most important things that we will do in the smart device category is really push forward with Windows 7-based slates and Windows 7 phones,” he said. “We want to give you a great consumer-oriented device, but a device that fits and is manageable with today’s enterprise IT solutions. They’ll come with keyboards. They’ll come without keyboards….They’ll be dockable. And they will be in many form factors, many price points and many sizes. But they will all run Windows 7….They will run Windows 7 applications. They will run Office.”

And they will be built by 21 manufacturers, including Asus, Sony (SNE), Dell (DELL), Fujitsu, Lenovo, Panasonic and, yes, Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) too. Though HP is developing a tablet based on Palm’s webOS, its work on that Windows 7 tablet Ballmer showed off at CES in January evidently continues.

“Over the course of the next several months you will see a range of Windows 7-based slates that I think you’ll find quite impressive,” Ballmer said. “This is a terribly important area for us. We are hardcore about this.”

Hardcore, eh? So I guess your approach to the mobile market would be softcore, then?

[Image credit: JavierGC]