Market boostBBC News - Microsoft and HP show off 'slate' PC
This is not Microsoft's first attempt to introduce a tablet or slate-like computer.
Back in 2002, the company introduced a tablet PC version of Windows XP, which failed to take off.
Analysts however believe these new entries should give the middling $950m (£597m) US market for tablets a much needed jolt.
"Apple could do for the tablet market what it did for smartphones with the iPhone," analyst David Daoud of IDC told USA Today.
Other industry watchers fear that consumers might be a little wary with so many companies all rushing at once to bring out new devices.
"With this market awash in products, customer confusion is what we have for certain," said Silicon Valley analyst Rob Enderle of the Enderle Group.
In his address, Mr Ballmer also focused on new PCs, software and the success of Windows 7 which was released last October.
"The biggest hit of the year was Windows 7," said Mr Ballmer.
"Windows 7 is by far the fastest selling operating system in history."
The software boss cited figures from the market analysis firm NPD that said that since the launch of Windows 7, sales of consumer PCs in the US over the latest holiday period were up more than 50% from the year before.
Just wondering if any economist could calculate how much of the current economic problems were caused entirely by Vista? I know I put off buying a new improved computer that I probably needed in 2007 until 2010 because I already had XP machines but refused to go to Vista. Certainly PC sales are up on Windows 7 but how far down did they go because of Vista.
I have been using Windows 7 now since New Years. Not only is it an amazing OS on level with the latest Mac OSX or Linux releases, but it wipes the slate clean of the Vista failure IMHO. The interesting thing about Vista is that Microsoft utterly blew one of the most anticipated Windows releases in its history and screwed the hardware producers who were forced to milk XP way beyond the point anyone had imagined it would go. I used Windows XP for 7 years!!!! I upgrade my Linux machines every year. And yet still Microsoft can come out on top, all it needed to do was get it right, produce an OS which just uses concepts that Linux and Apple had already proven. Sweet deal if you ask me.
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