At next month’s Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is expected to take the wraps off a number of new Windows-powered tablet computers built by Dell and Samsung.
According to reports, the Samsung device is described as "similar in size and shape" to the Apple iPad, although not as thin – perhaps because it will be running Microsoft’s Windows 7 operating system full-on.
Microsoft will be pitching the devices at individuals who want to consume apps and media products like newspapers on a sleek device but at the same time continue working on familiar productivity apps like Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel.
Windows 8 rumours
The software giant is currently encouraging partners to build applications for the new devices which will be built on HTML5.
According to the New York Times, Microsoft may be pursuing a different direction in terms of selling these apps, by encouraging app developers to host them on their own websites while the apps are highlighted on the search interface of the new devices.
According to other reports, Microsoft may use its keynote at CES to tease Windows 8, on which Microsoft’s real tablet strategy will be based. Windows 8 is due out late 2011, early 2012.
· Stay tuned for further reports on the Consumer Electronics Show 2011 from Siliconrepublic editor John Kennedy, who will be covering the event.