Clearly the year 2010 has belonged to the Apple iPad so far and the only thing that arch rivals Microsoft could muster is a verbal volley by company CEO Steve Ballmer trying to convince the world at large that the Windows 7 is as good or maybe a tad better to deliver superior tablet PC experience than any other. But the situation from the ground remains not only vastly different but can’t just be termed pro-Microsoft at the moment. This when its Microsoft that had first conceived the idea of a tablet PC almost a decade but never could make it big, something that was left to be done by the Cupertino based company. True, Microsoft might have dreamt much more than was conducive as what they were looking at is a device that would perhaps be a replacement of the laptops though eventually what Apple has come out with is a device that scores heavily on practicality and mobility that has gone on to win people’s heart and mind.
However, while quite a few tablets running Windows 7 made it to the big scene, its no secret most have disappeared without a trace, let alone emulate the success that Apple has tasted with the iPad. The best Microsoft could do was splash around the HP Slate at CES 2010 as well as during different times of the year trying to convince people the iPad won’t go uncontested. Also, Microsoft’s very own Courier project was believed to do to the tablet segment what Apple has done and what Microsoft could not do a decade earlier. Alas, while the Courier got an unceremonial burial, the HP Slate did enter production stage but is not designed as a device for the mass market but only for the enterprise sector.
So with another CES not too far away, what do you think Ballmer and Co have up their sleeves to connect to the tablet crowd? It might well be the next iteration of Windows 7, the Windows 8 which it is believed to have been designed right from the ground up stage to be tablet specific and not as resource intensive as the current version of Windows is. However, the only grouse is, Windows 8 is far from ready and can be expected to feature in a proper tablet device only towards the end of 2011 or early 2012. But in spite of that, the web world is rife with rumors of a tablet prototype running Windows 8 might still make it to the upcoming CES.
So those heading to Las Vegas early next year, make sure you make it to the Microsoft pavilion so as not to miss out on a few surprises.