Windows 7 Slate Expected in Mid 2011

Experts speculate about whether Microsoft's late entry will be ultimately detrimental to the company's competition in the tablet sector.


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Because Windows 7 will run a next-generation Intel chip not due until March, Microsoft's much-anticipated tablet likely won't hit shelves until mid 2011 or so. Will the delay hurt the company's competitive chances?

A veteran financial analyst predicted Thursday that users will likely have to wait until the middle of next year before Microsoft and its hardware partners can field slate computers running Windows 7.

That's not unexpected news.

At the end of July, CEO Steve Ballmer told a gathering of financial analysts at the company's Redmond, Wash. headquarters that slates are "job 1" for Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT). At that time, he said there would be slate computers running Windows 7 in the marketplace within a year.

However, Ballmer also said that most Microsoft-based slates would be built on a new generation of Intel's (NASDAQ: INTC) Atom processors -- but they are not due until next March.

The question is, by the time Microsoft gets its act together, will it be too far behind the pack to catch up? Certainly, it will be well behind the market surge which has already clearly begun.

"It seems likely that we will not see a Windows-based tablet until mid-2011, a few months after Intel's low-power Oak Trail processor is due," a research note by Jefferies & Company analyst Katherine Egbert, said Thursday. Egbert said her conclusions came from a chat she had recently with Bill Koefoed, general manager of Microsoft Investor Relations.

Read the rest at Enterprise Mobile Today.

Tags: Windows, Microsoft, iPad, tablet, tablets

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