Microsoft is working with its partners on a competitor to the iPad, Microsoft’s chief executive Steve Ballmer has told a meeting of financial analysts.
Ballmer was quite honest about his feelings towards the success of his rival's device, stating, “Apple has done an interesting job of putting together a synthesis and putting a product out... they sold certainly more than I'd like them to sell, let me just be clear about that”.
As for a timeframe for Windows slates Ballmer said, “Some of you will say, well, when? When? And I say, As soon as they're ready. They'll be shipping as soon as they are ready. And it is job one urgency around here. Nobody is sleeping at the switch.”
Ballmer implied that Microsoft’s plan would be to have slates of different sizes running different operation systems.
“We're working with our hardware partners, we're tuning Windows 7 to new slate hardware designs that they're bringing them to market,” Ballmer told the group. But in answer to a question from a Sarah Friar of Goldman Sachs, Ballmer said, “We're coming full guns. The operating system is called Windows. No - there's - let me be unambiguous. A new Windows Phone for screen sizes that, let me just say, are, you know, sort of bigger than three or four inches -- the answer is Windows Phone.”
Analysts have been speculating over the reason that Microsoft recently invested in a full license architecture from Arm but Ballmer said that the slates would be powered by Intel chips - though he left the door open for other processors to be used at a later time
“We're all in the game today with Intel architecture machines. We've got improvements coming from Intel. We're driving forward. We're unambiguous about that… in no way will we allow hardware to be the impediment. We will embrace what we need to embrace over time in terms of hardware evolution.”
Ballmer tried to mitigate any impatience the market may be experiencing for the arrival of Microsoft powered slate devices by telling the analysts that its devices would have one significant advantage - they will be able to print out of the box.
“Let's merely say when you get your Windows 7 machine, it will print. Let's just start with that. I mean some people actually like to print every now and then. Ours will print.”
I relish the competition. I relish holding up those couple of machines today that I wanted to hand you. It's not today. I'll relish doing it tomorrow.”
Are you one of those holding out on the iPad for a Windows powered slate that can print? Please do let us know – in the comments.
Via: CNN Money.com