THE PC SOFTWARE OUTFIT Microsoft apparently is going to have another crack at entering the tablet market, nearly ten years after it tried the technology and gave up on it.
Now that the tablet is the latest IT industry fad, Microsoft has been unable to actually get one onto the market.
The New York Times is convinced that next month, at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, the Vole's CEO Steve Ballmer will show off another Microsoft tablet.
The device supposedly will be made by Samsung and Dell, among a number of other manufacturing partners.
Microsoft has not said anything about it, but sources told the Times that the Samsung device is described as "similar in size and shape to the Apple iPad, although it is not as thin". It is said to include a keyboard that slides out from below.
Reportedly the tablet will run the Windows 7 operating system when in landscape mode, but will also have a layered interface that will appear when the keyboard is hidden and the device is held in a portrait mode.
Microsoft has always thought that there was a huge market for business tablets from executives who want to use a tablet for reading newspapers and magazines. Of course the Vole's fondest dream is that they will also want to use its Microsoft Office Word, Excel and Powerpoint for doing work.
The company reportedly is encouraging partners to build applications for these devices that use HTML5, the web programming language. However, unlike competitors the software will not be flogged in an app store.
Instead, the Vole wants software partners to host the applications on their own websites, which will then be highlighted in a search interface on the tablet computers.
Other rumours suggest that the shy and retiring Steve Ballmer might demonstrate a tablet at CES running Microsoft's next churn of its PC operating system, Windows 8. µ
Now you can watch documentaries about horribly disfigured people whenever you like
Brad to the bone
Being in a minority of one doesn't make you right
WeWork needs a rework