Microsoft Corp CEO Mr. Steve Ballmer hyped the new Windows 7 operating system tablet-style devices from about a dozen manufactures at a meeting on Monday 12th. He further emphasized on the company’s enthusiasm to counter the ever rising consumer interest in Apple Inc’s iPad. The new devices, small, wireless, hand held computers running the Windows 7 OS are in the product line of Dell Inc, Acer Inc, Samsung Electronics, Sony Corp, Toshiba Corp, and some ten other PC makers.

“This year, one of the most important things we will do in the smart device category is to really push forward with Windows 7 slates. This is a terrible important area for us.” Said Mr. Ballmer at the company’s annual partner conference held in the capital, which was web cast.

Cloud computing

Still at the conference, Microsoft declare that Fujitsu Ltd, online auction giant eBay Inc and PC maker Dell are some of the companies testing the new Windows Azure platform appliance which allows consumers to apply the new “cloud” server technology in its data centers. The company is enormously emphasizing on “cloud” services, fundamentally helping their clients and other companies manage their information and those of their customers in cyber space instead of the normal hard drive storage. Previously, analysts had stated that cloud computing might not be the best because of lack of privacy and organization.

Apple’s threats

Apple, which launched iPad back in April, has already sold more than 2.5 million units all around the world and analysts are predicting that Apple will sell between 6 million and 10 million units by the end of this year. The figure might further rise to more than 20 million units by the year 2011. This has paused as a threat to Microsoft, forcing them to vigorously tout their new products. If the trend with Apple continues, there may be more of such product hyping in the future.

Furthermore, Windows mobile, Microsoft’s mobile phone OS has been continuously moving back due to fierce competition from Google’s Android and Apple’s iPhone software. The company has plans to shake up the management responsible for its Windows mobile.

“We missed a generation with Windows Mobile… We really did miss a release cycle.” Ballmer said

Notable exemption

A significant exception in Ballmer’s list was Hewlett-Packard Co, No 1 PC maker world wide which stated its plans to manufacture slate devices which run the operating system devised by Palm Inc’s WebOS, which was acquired by Hp early this year. This was so as Hp’s logo did not appear on a slide listing the PC manufacturing companies working on the slate device. The list was displayed as Palmer spoke.

The purchase of Palm has helped Hp to gain access to Palm’s webOS platform based on the Palm pre and Palm Pixi. Apart from the tablet, Hp also plans to incorporate the OS into its smartphones and Netbooks.

Even though reports of the webOS- based slate have not been confirmed, the trade mark application’s strength on the future of the unreleased Slate brand is unconfident. The only information tangible as of now is the trade mark application for the name “Palmpad.” Aside from that, it is only speculation as to whether the Hp slate will be renamed the Palmpad, or if they are two individual devices. More information is expected to arise on the palm pad in the near future. This may help to bring more insight on the matter.