Microsoft unveils new HP tablet

Microsoft unveils new HP tablet

Ballmer showed off the new device at the end of his keynote speech at the CES technology show in Las Vegas.

“This great little PC — which will be available later this year — I think many customers are going to be very excited about,” said Ballmer, using finger touches to flip through a book on the screen using’s Kindle software.

Microsoft has “a lot of the pieces in place” to make such a device work, she said, but it’s not clear that it can claim significant market share.

Ballmer did not detail pricing or when the device will hit stores. An earlier New York Times report said it could go on sale by mid-2010.

Microsoft, the world’s largest software maker, and HP, the top personal computer maker, are the latest companies to eye tablets that bridge the gap between laptops and smartphones.

Talk of Apple’s tablet — potentially the company’s biggest product launch since the iPhone — has swirled in trading rooms, tech websites and industry forums for months.

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