Almost exactly a year ago, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer presented a slew of Windows powered devices at the 2010 CES, 3 months before the launch of the iPad. A year went by, the iPad successfully launched, several Android tablets made their debut as well, but except the disappointing HP Slate 500, the Windows-powered tablets are still nowhere to be found.
Acknowledging the fact that the situation got out of hand, Steve Ballmer reorganized its mobile division, successfully launched Windows 7 Phone, and plans to make 2011 the year of the Microsoft-powered tablet.
Not afraid to go on stage to cover the same topic a second time, Ballmer is planning another tablet-centric keynote at next year’s CES, in early January. This time, Ballmer has no room for failure, as the Microsoft CEO cannot afford another tablet-related fiasco. But thanks to the success of Windows Phone 7, and promising tablet-specific enhancements to Windows 7, the confidence level of the Microsoft CEO is on the rise.
Since July, Ballmer has been obsessed by the topic. According to him, Microsoft is “hardcore” about the tablet market space, and the Redmond-based company plans to make their tablets “devices that people will be proud to carry at home .” Back in the early 2000’s, Microsoft was one of the first companies to push tablets but the devices proved unsuccessful in the marketplace.
Will 2011 be the year of the Windows tablet? Unsure, but the giant plans to show a significant number of tablets running the Windows operating system at CES, and may even feature tablets powered by Windows Phone 7. Windows 7 has recently been specifically revamped for tablets, with a new, user-friendly GUI much closer to what iOS and Android offer today.