Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer has said that the firm will join forces with nearly two dozen hardware makers to release Windows-based tablet computers that would rival iPad.
"This year one of the most important things that we will do in the smart device category is really push forward with Windows 7-based slates and Windows 7 phones," Ballmer said (via AFP).
At the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference he promised a range of Windows 7-based slates that would impress. "This is a terribly important area for us," he said. "We are hardcore about this."
Ballmer went on to name-check HP, Asus, Dell, Samsung, Fujitsu, Toshiba, Lenovo, Panasonic, Pegatron and Sony.
"They'll come with keyboards, they'll come without keyboards, they'll be dockable, there'll be many form factors, many price points, many sizes," he continued. "But they will all run Windows 7. They will run Windows 7 applications. They will run Office."
Ballmer admitted that Microsoft had “missed a generation with Windows Mobile” but added that Windows Phone 7 had received “remarkable” reviews.
Microsoft also said that Dell, Fujitsu, HP and eBay had become early adopters of its Windows Azure cloud platform.