Microsoft plans to announce their own Tablet PC well before Apple. New York Times, says that Steve Ballmer will unveil "a novel take on a slate-type computer," made by HP. Times says the "slate" to be shown by Ballmer at CES "will be touted as a multi-media whiz with e-reader and multi-touch functions," and is expected to show it in a video during his CES keynote on Jan 6. NYTs' post refers at one point to Microsoft's not-so-secret Courier project but doesn't explicitly say this’s it. Here’s an exclusive photo of a prototype of this innovative product:
In early part of the last decade, Microsoft made entry into Tablet PCs market, a favorite project of Bill Gates, “Gates started with official name of Tablet PC OS "Windows XP Tablet PC Edition". He introduced six more companies, bringing total number of OEMs working on these devices to 13. Tablet PCs will ship in two basic forms--standard slab design and a cool new convertible laptop that Acer pioneered. Acer device is a laptop with a flip-around screen. When Tablet PC ships next year, Microsoft'll release an Office XP update that'll add "pen-and-ink" capabilities to the suite, along with other Tablet-specific features,” quote from COMDEX Fall 2001 coverage.
MobileTechWorld says that the HP TouchSmart 2, which HP already unveiled, is the likely “slate” that Ballmer will be showing. Watch Ballmers’ keynote here.