Asus, Samsung, HP, Sony, Dell and Toshiba are just some of the manufacturers that are presently working on the launch of Window’s slate PCs. Speaking at the organisation’s annual World Partner Conference, Microsoft chief executive, Steve Ballmer the company will be venturing into the tablet PC market. The newly designed tablet devices will run on the Windows 7 operating system and are expected to be released in the next few months. While no specific launch date was announced, Mr Ballmer agreed that the tablet computing area was “terribly important” to Microsoft.
However, Microsoft’s decision to enter the tablet PC does not come as a surprise to experts who have been waiting for this announcement for quite sometime now. Perhaps, the only surprise is that it has taken Microsoft this long following the massive success of the Apple iPad tablet, which sold over 3 million units in less than 3 months after it was first released into the market. When it finally goes on sale, the Windows-7 tablet is expected to come in different forms, some dockable and others with keyboards.
However, the success of the device will depend on how it handles some of the challenges it is bound to face. For example, the fact that Windows operating systems were not originally designed to work in touch-screen environments. Furthermore, it remains to be seen how far Microsoft can break into an area that has been dominated by Apple for a considerable period of time. How many Apple users can Microsoft sway to its side? Only time will tell.
Can Microsoft compete with Apple in the tablet computing market?