Mr. Ballmer, Microsoft’s chief executive, will unveil a novel take on a slate-type computer during his evening keynote at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, according to people familiar with Microsoft’s plans. The slate will be made by Hewlett-Packard and possibly available by mid-year, these people said.
This product better be good because Apple is expected to unveil its take on the slate/tablet form factor later this month. If history holds, Apple will issue a product that surprises people in a few ways and that stands out from the crowd.
So the last thing Mr. Ballmer wants to hold up is a me-too device. Press representatives from Microsoft and H.P. declined to comment on the product or the content of Mr. Ballmer’s speech. My sources, however, say that Mr. Ballmer will show the as-yet-unnamed H.P. device, which will be touted as a multimedia whiz with e-reader and multi-touch functions.