CES 2010 | At CES in Las Vegas today, Steve Ballmer is throwing a curveball at the rest of the industry by unveiling HP's new form factor PC.
Back in the early years of the century, Microsoft and hardware partners turned up at a publishing house, showing off a limited-function, all wireless stylus-controlled PC. When I asked the price and was given the answer (which, I vaguely recall was around $3,200 for something that couldn't even stream video) the PR lady had to ask if I was okay, as the colour drained from my face. Whatever my misgivings, the rest of the world knew a turkey when they saw it, the family failed to sell in numbers and the we all moved on.
Fast forward a decade and here we go again
, but this time the technology is here to stream hi-def video, read wonderful things called e-books and handle anything the Internet can throw at it. With a raft of devices, including seemingly an e-book reader launching by the week, its only fair that Microsoft gets in on the act with its partners. But with the 200lb gorilla of Apple's upcoming uber-tablet due to be unveiled soon, will this be yet another venture that Microsoft launches with bluster only to be ignored by the buying masses? Lop off the keyboard of this stylish HP tablet and do you get the future of mobile computing?
The move is a logical one as Windows 7 comes with built-in touchscreen support. The slate-type PC, as the type is being generally called will offer all the multi-touch fun that seems to be the big thing in 2010. More news and pictures as they emerge. To be fair HP has done a lot of cool things with tablet PCs recently, and was one of the first with a multitouch laptop so there could be a lot of good to come from these products, time will tell.