Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will deliver a Wednesday evening keynote address at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, and unnamed sources have told the New York Times that he will take the wraps off a tablet computer that will be made by HP. With Apple rumored to introduce a similar product later this month, Microsoft will be able to pre-empt its rival, rather than look like an also-ran, as it did with the Zune.
The Times’ sources said that Microsoft’s tablet PC could be available by mid-year; it’s expected to be “a multimedia whiz with e-reader and multi-touch functions,” the venerable newspaper said. Unsurprisingly, Microsoft and HP spokespeople declined to comment on the rumors.
Times blogger Ashlee Vance also mused: “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.”