As reported ahead of time by many sources, Steve Ballmer showed a new Windows 7-based tablet PC from HP at CES 2010 this evening.
There’s a Windows Task Bar on the bottom of it. There’s no keyboard (although I’m sure you can plug one in somehow if you wanted to), so this device is meant to work via touch. There’s just one problem (and I think it’s a REALLY big problem): Unless I’m mistaken, it’s the Windows 7 touch technology. They haven’t developed a new version for this device as far as I know.
I wrote about the touch in Windows 7 after I received a free tablet PC with Windows 7 when I attended Microsoft’s PDC event a few weeks ago. They didn’t do this right.
I think the Daring Fireball John Gruber says it very well in his post on the subject:
“Anyway, all these “slates” announced tonight are just tablet PCs running Windows 7 — a terrible interface for a touch screen. Nice job, Ashlee Vance of the New York Times.
Maybe Microsoft thinks they’re somehow sticking it to Apple by taking the “slate” name first, but everything tablet-related they announced on stage was boring non-news. The only cool stuff they announced (Natal) isn’t going to ship for close to a year. This is a comparison they want to draw with Apple? I’m left with the impression of a company that’s flailing.”