Microsoft's Main Focus Is Making an iPad Rival
Not content to let long-time rival Apple get all the attention in the tablet market, Microsoft is focusing on Windows-based tablets, according to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.
"It is job one urgency. No one is sleeping at the switch," Ballmer said. The main goal is "not just to deliver products, but to deliver products that people want to buy."
That's an important distinction, especially given the number of people who don't want an iPad. And even though the iPad isn't appealing to large percentage of people, Ballmer acknowledges "they've sold certainly more than I'd like them to have sold."
Ballmer made it clear later during a question and answer session that he was talking specifically about promoting Windows 7 in tablets, not Windows Phone 7. He likened it to the early days of netbooks when most devices were sold with Linux. Microsoft was able to successfully promote Windows XP and later Windows 7 Starter as a good alternative for netbooks. Microsoft wants to repeat that success by encouraging tablet manufacturers to use Windows 7.
There weren't any details on specific devices or ship dates, although Ballmer said they weren't far away. It may be quite a battle for Microsoft. So far many Windows 7 tablets have been canceled in favor of tablets running Google's Android operating system . And even the HP Slate that Ballmer presented at CES last January has been nixed as a consumer product and refocused as a business tool.