Rumours are currently swirling around like winter snow flurries concerning Microsoft and its plans for the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in three weeks time.
The grapevine has it that some early form of Windows 8 may be shown, along with a range of tablet devices.
Certainly it seems likely that Microsoft will be showing off tablets running Windows, with the New York Times saying that Steve Ballmer will take the stage with more than one device, from the likes of Samsung, Dell and others.
The Windows 7 powered Samsung tablet is mentioned specifically by the New York Times anonymous source, and it will apparently boast a keyboard which slides out, making it a tempter for those who can’t bring themselves to make the transition to tablets due to virtual keyboard issues.
Microsoft has refused to comment on the speculation. Of course, at the last CES, Ballmer demonstrated the HP slate running Windows 7, but this never emerged in 2010. Instead, HP has switched the focus of its consumer tablets to webOS, and the Windows slate (the HP Slate 500), when it eventually does come out in 2011, will be targeted at business users.
Tablets are expected to grow even more in popularity in 2011, with the iPad 2 emerging boasting twin cameras, and the likes of the BlackBerry PlayBook also coming to the market.
Microsoft will certainly have stiff competition coming rather late to the party, although we have to admit the slide-out keyboard is an interesting concept, and a gadget we’d certainly like to give a test run.