Microsoft: Windows tablet PC by Christmas


In what appears to be a direct response to the success of Apple's iPad device, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has claimed that the company will be releasing its own tablet PC in time for Christmas.

Apple’s iPad has proven a huge success, having sold 3.3m in its first quarter, and with other models, including Dell’s Streak and Asustek’s Eee Pad, also coming to a market expected by technology research firm Gartner to sell 10m units throughout the year, Ballmer has announced Microsoft’s own intentions.

“We as a company will need to cover all form factors. We have done work around the tablet as a productivity device and a consumption device,” Ballmer said at a speech made at the London School of Economics in early October. “You'll see new slates with Windows on them. You'll see them this Christmas,” he added.

Microsoft is also hoping to make headway in the mobile market with the launch of the Windows Phone 7 mobile operating system on October 11. The company will be aiming for greater success than it managed with the previous Windows Mobile platform, which was widely criticised by consumers and even Ballmer himself.