HP and Microsoft Plan Counter Strike For Apple Tablet

HP Slate

After a few hours Apple is announcing the highly anticipated & rumored Apple Tablet. Though it’s not official what they will offer in this big day as they call it “Come See Our latest Creation.” But HP already announced their own Windows 7 based Slate yesterday according to ZDNET. on the other hand, senior Microsoft executive Robbie Bach was quoted by InformationWeek as confirming that the company had added tablets to its lineup.

According to ZDNet, the Hp Slate that will run on Windows 7 operating system, was initially “conceived” five years ago as an e-reader prototype.

HP Slate

With speculation over Apple’s expected Tablet device dominating the tech blogs on Tuesday, HP’s CTO Phil McKinney decided to show off his company’s soon-to-be-released Slate device in an online video, just hours before Apple Inc. is expected to unveil. He also explained how it will be business effective.

“As technology advanced, the ‘rich media experience’ became essential to the device’s mission, and only now has hardware (and price point) caught up with the company’s vision,” explained ZDNet’s Andrew Nusca.

HP Slate: Side View

HP Co. gave a sneak preview of its own Slate device, promising both an “affordable” price tag and a 2010 release date. The preview, which was posted to YouTube on Monday, features CTO Phil McKinney hyping the multi-touch, Windows 7-powered device and assuring potential consumers that it is “not a prototype or a concept.” He said HP is committed to getting the Slate into the hands of consumers later this year and at a low price point.

Rather than providing a breakdown of technical specifications, the video is presented as a questions and answers session on the HP Slate’s development. The questions are asked by an HP spokesperson with the answers provided by Phil McKinney, HP’s chief technical officer.

McKinney said that 2010 is the year of the Slate because of a “perfect storm of innovation.” For that, we give him an inital score on trite buzzwords and phrases of +2.

He continued, “It’s around the fact that there’s now this convergence of low cost, low power processors, Win 7.0 with an operating system that is touch aware, the ability to create these kinds of platforms with new kinds of touch technology that hit that price point.” His buzzword score rose to about +5 there, we reckon.

McKinney also said that the idea behind the research and development, by its Labs team in Bristol, was to take e-readers to the next stage. Naming Amazon’s Kindle and Sony’s Reader, McKinney said they’re “optimised for black and white text and don’t offer multi-media rich platforms.” He hit around +7 or so in his buzzword bingo score by our count, not bad for the bit more than two sentences we could bear to quote.

HP’s Slate was first announced earlier this month at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. “The big questions here for business use — and, indeed for consumers as well — is, ‘What do I use it for and is it worth the money for its capabilities?’” said Gordon Haff, a principal analyst with Nashua, N.H..-based Illuminata Inc.

In addition, senior Microsoft executive Robbie Bach was quoted by InformationWeek as confirming that the company had added tablets to its lineup.

“It’s almost as portable as a phone, and as powerful as a PC running Windows 7,” Ballmer said at the time. “This emerging category of PCs really should take advantage of the touch and mobility capabilities of Windows 7,” he said.

Steve Ballmer demonstrates HP's upcoming Windows 7-based

While Microsoft has not announced release dates or prices for tablet PCs, company executives have left little doubt that Windows-powered tablets are coming.

“We started with desktops and laptops, but we added notebooks, now we’re adding tablets,” said Microsoft Entertainment and Devices division president Robbie Bach, also speaking at CES. “At the high end you add all-in-ones, then you add game machines,” said Bach.

“I think the tablet phenomenon is an opportunity,” said Bach.

Microsoft may have a leg up in the tablet market in that its current OS, Windows 7, features built-in support for the touch screen capabilities that are mandatory on tablets, given their lack of keyboards and constrained screen real estate.

However, Paul McDougall of InformationWeek emphasized that Redmond was likely to “attack the market” via Hewlett Packard and Acer, rather than introduce a native Microsoft-branded device.

Source: ZDnet.com, InformationWeek.com, PCWorld.com, Electronista.com

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