Microsoft's Ballmer to Try and Pre-empt Apple, Introduce HP Tablet Tonight?


UPDATE: According to WMExperts liveblog, it was a Tablet PC by HP running Windows 7 and called -- wait for it -- the Slate. Yes, named after Apple's latest tablet name rumor. Looks chunky, and its using a desktop OS. Okay.

ORIGINAL: So the rumor is Steve is about to introduce a new tablet device -- no, not Steve Jobs of Apple, but his nemesis Steve Ballmer of Microsoft -- and he's rumored to be doing it tonight at CES!

Our sibling site, WMExperts, has the details and Dieter and Phil will be there live covering Ballmer's keynote at 9:30pm ET, 6:30pm PT, 2:30am GT (tomorrow morning, yeah?)

Will it be the crazy courier concept we saw before? More Tablet PC tomfoolery? Surface-to-go? And if Apple is unicorns, is this the pegasus?

And does this have any effect on Apple's rumored iTablet show on Jan. 27? Or does Apple just ignore what everyone else is doing, as usual, and show up with what they got?

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Microsoft's Ballmer to Try and Pre-empt Apple, Introduce HP Tablet Tonight?


I would expect it to be a credible product, maybe not on Apple standards, but credible. Remember, HP makes a desktop with a touch interface using some of it's own software on top of Windows. My sense is that their tablet will use some of those concepts and take them to the next level. January 2010 is shaping up to be a very interesting month from a Tech perspective. I'm really happy to be in tech.

maybe he will also announce something that I care about like xvid support on the 360 when used with media that would blow my mind lol

It won't matter. Once Apple releases their version of a tablet device, all the others will be playing catch up. I welcome the competition though. It keeps Apple on their toes.

I don't know anything more than anyone else, but after more than 20 years in personal computing I have to say that a Ballmer/HP announcement before the Apple announcement looks like desperation. Well Ballmer might introduce a game-changing device that is more than just Win7 on a keyboardless touch screen, one with a revolutionary UI and a simple, seemless way to access print, audio and video media anywhere . . . yeah, and the Chinese might forgive the US national debt. Hey, it's possible!
Assuming Apple really does unveil their tablet-thingy this month, I can only imagine Ballmer will end up looking like a desparate doofus.

I love how these manufacturers are rushing to "beat" Apple to a credible tablet but they have actually zero clue on whats Apple been cooking for the past few years. I can imagine Jan27th and boom slam duck lol

pre-empting apple is a BAD idea.
the product will be completely forgotten and un-hyped the day that the apple product is released.

where can I watch that and yeah they r copy caters, apple products but they are good there iPhones wanna be on the market but there is nothing that is equal or close to an iPhone.

Re: "desparate" I was referring to the timing of the rumored announcement, not the possible HP device itself. Of course, Apple is very savvy about it's announcement timings, and Ballmer would just be playing the same game. But over the last 10 years there's zero evidence an MS announced device is likely to compete successfully with an Apple creation in the same class. Of course, if it did, I'd acknowledge Ballmer's timing to be great. If he raped me, I was sleeping at the time ...

More - there are 3 ways to cpete with Apple:
1. Wait til Apple releases something and then copy it as fast, well, and cheaply as you can. I don't think this as ever worked well unless you count the many Windows feature that were first in the Mac OS, which I don't.

  1. Figure out what you think Apple's gonna do and build the competing product before Apple announces/releases - this is what Ballmer's rumored announcement sounds like, and I can't think of a case where it's worked either.
  2. Ignore Apple and build the best, coolest stuff you can imagine and bring to market. That's real competition, and the only long-term strategy with good odds. Google looks like their going be very successful as an Apple competitor doing this.