We’ve been drooling over a number of leaked images and details about a rumored slab of awesome from Microsoft heretofore dubbed the Courier. Tonight at CES Microsoft unveiled the real deal — kind of.
Microsoft is making a tablet-like device — several in fact, with different partners (Pegatron, Archos and HP) — which CEO Steve Ballmer referred to collectively as “slate PCs.” But it’s clear these are still early days for the insanely hyped “Microsoft and HP tablet” that was to have challenged Apple‘s also completely mythical tablet that everyone expects to be announced later this month.
This device has no specs yet — not even a name. What Ballmer held up on stage was merely an early prototype of an HP tablet device. The only “details” we really know about it at this point is that it will run Windows 7 and be available sometime later this year. He showed the working prototype only briefly, running Kindle for Windows and being used primarily as an eReader-like device.
In other words, we still don’t have much to go on regarding how exactly the tablet form factor renaissance is going to shake out. Still, other vendors are rumored to be announcing tablets at CES, so we may still see a juicy entrant into this category later this week. But tonight’s expected big reveal was clearly anything but — merely a faint glimmer of the tablet swarm that’s sure to develop later this year.