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Category: Gadgets Hardware PC

Microsoft CEO Shares his Insights about Windows 7 Slate

Written on October 07, 2010 by Charles Bass

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Steve Ballmer, The CEO of Microsoft, shares his views about the power of the upcoming Windows 7 Slate.

Yesterday, CEO Steve Ballmer had the chance to speak to two different audience. One was ’s Partner Briefing on transitioning to the cloud and the other one was during the UK TechDays Special Event on the future of cloud development. Here is an interesting  inquiry raised from Q&A  portion from the UK Techdays.

Question: “We haven’t had a Windows come out yet […] we do see the prototypes coming out all the time but I do remember you saying that it’s going to run full Windows 7. […] are we going to have like a version of Windows Phone 7 or a of Windows Embedded 7 coming out? […] To me, although [Windows 7] is touch enabled, I don’t think it’s great for a small 7″, 9″ device.”

Mr Ballmer’s response: “Yeah, what you’ll see over the course of the next year is us doing more and more work with our hardware partners creating hardware-software optimization with Windows 7 and with Windows 7 Media Center […] Media Center is big and, when people say ‘hey, we could optimize more for clients’ I think what they generally mean is ‘Big Buttons’. Big Buttons that’s, I think, a codeword for Big Buttons and Media Center is Big Buttons not Little Buttons. I’m not trying to trivialize that – it’s a real issue.

We’re not going to do a revamp of Windows 7 over the course of the next year for that purpose. Whether we should, or we shouldn’t, we’ve put all our energy around doing a great job on that and other issues in the next version of Windows so we will do optimizations to have devices that look really good, that run Windows, that are very good for touch applications which we will encourage people to write. We will do things that improve – it turns out that if we just optimize settings and the configuration of Windows it can be a lot more usable through touch, even on today’s systems – we’re doing that work with the OEMs. We’re doing work with the OEMs to make sure that they treat ink also as a first class citizen. None of our competitors products actually do a very good [job]. I saw a poor guy in a speech I did out down the hall, he had one of our competitors’ devices and he was sitting there crouched over with this thing on his knees, bent and there’s no keyboard – and he was in torture using that poor non-Windows slate device [audience laughs].

And for some of you, [you] do the same but I think we can make life a little simpler for people, if we do the right job. Can we do better by optimizing – yep – guy’s got one at the back – you can bend over too, I’ll tell ya! [audience laughs]

The truth of the matter is the laptop weighs less – you can set it on your lap, it doesn’t weigh anything at that point and then you can type. I’m not trying to say there’s not a place for touch-optimized slate-based devices, obviously we have shown enthusiasm about that before but you’ll see some optimizations coming in the course of the next year and some of the devices that convert, that have a keyboard, that flip around – I think some of those will be also pretty useful for people in the course of the next year.”

One thing is certain for sure, no Windows 7 Slate will be handed out by Santa this Christmas.

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