Jan 10th, 2010

At CES in Las Vegas, Steve Ballmer announced Microsoft’s entry into a new product category with an HP Slate running Windows 7. Now we’ve got smartphones, smartbooks, superphones, tablets, etc… how the heck are we defining “Slate” anyways? Ballmer provides his own interpretation:

“They’re more powerful than a phone and almost as powerful as a PC. Perfect for reading, surfing the web and taking entertainment on the go,”

And according to TechCrunch, a version of the HP Slate nearly identical to the one Microsoft announced by HP will be launching with Android. Here is a quick video of the HP Slate with Windows 7 to give you a reference point:

When asked about the possibility of an HP Android Slate, here is how Marlene Somsak (HP Media Relations Director) responded:

“I’m certain that we will be announcing new Slates in the future as they are a very interesting area for us. There are also tons of HP Labs activities looking at a numerous different areas. As of now we are not announcing a new Android-based slate.”

Consider that a yes – the company has already shown off an HP Android Netbook at CES so it is pretty obvious that Android is an area of growth for them. And “HP Labs” activities would certainly suggest they’re testing lots of different things.

In addition to hardware, HP is diligently working on software in the form of media partnerships. The New York Times is reporting that HP is in talks with Conde Naste, Business Week, Bloomberg and others to offer a new magazine-like content experience for the device that would include both text and videos.

We’ll be watching this story closely as “Slate” seems to be the buzzword of the last few weeks.