Rumour: MS to show iPad killers at CES

Running Windows 8.

Microsoft may show off true iPad killers at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, the New York Times reports (via All About Microsoft).

CEO Steve Ballmer is "expected" to announce a number of these devices during his CES keynote, showcasing tablets built by Samsung and Dell.

According to Ballmer, slates are job number one at Microsoft. He has said to expect the first "real" Windows-based iPad competitors to arrive some time in 2011.

The Samsung tablet is described as "similar in size and shape to the Apple iPad, although it is not as thin. It also includes a unique and slick keyboard that slides out from below for easy typing".

It would run Windows 7 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.

"The company believes there is a huge market for business people who want to enjoy a slate for reading newspapers and magazines and then work on Microsoft Word, Excel or PowerPoint while doing work," explained a source.

The US paper even suggests Ballmer will show off a tablet running Windows 8 during Microsoft's keynote. But Windows 8 is not expected to be released until 2013, making such a reveal unlikely.

If Ballmer does show off an iPad competitor, it would "silence" some of the continued criticism of Microsoft's lack of a true answer to Apple's handheld wonder, blogger Foley said.

Last week reports suggested Apple is readying the release of iPad 2, which is rumoured to feature rear and front-facing cameras.

The original iPad has now sold over seven million units since it launched earlier this year.

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