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Microsoft: Windows and Embedded, Not Windows Phone 7, on Tablets

At the Computex trade show this week, Microsoft executives firmly stated that Windows Phone 7 is not designed for tablet devices and will not be ported to these PC-like devices. (I was previously told that the company had nothing to say on this topic.) Instead, Microsoft will focus on Windows Embedded 7 for mainstream tablets (which I take to mean "iPad-like" tablets) and Windows 7 for premium tablets (i.e. actual Tablet PCs). I suspect there is some confusion around Windows Embedded 7, but it's essentially a full componentized version of Windows 7 that, among other things, can also run on the ARM chipsets preferred on these low-power, highly portable devices. This answers, sort of, the questions around Windows 7 battery life which dogged previous tablet efforts like the HP Slate. (Which reportedly got about 5 hours of battery life, half that of the iPad.)

Though it doesn't look like it, this is a slate tablet design from ASUS, called the Eee Pad. It's sitting on a keyboard base here, so it resembles a laptop. There are 10- and 12-inch versions planned, but some won't arrive until next year. Pricing is supposedly in the $400 to $450 range. The low-end versions run Windows Embedded 7, the high-end versions Windows 7 Home Premium.

LG is also showing off an iPad-like tablet called the UX10 Tablet. However, this is a prototype, and is basically netbook hardware. MSI is showing off Windows 7-based tablets too, though that company plans to ship a second similar device running Android as well.

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