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Microsoft boss to wave tablets in CES faces – again

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Microsoft is reportedly going to attempt to conjure some magic from slate computing at next month's CES event in Las Vegas.

According to the New York Times, which cites people familiar with the matter, Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer will announce a number of devices built by hardware pals Samsung, Dell and others.

Apparently, the Samsung tablet will be "similar in size and shape to the Apple iPad, although it is not as thin".

So would-be slate consumers can expect a chunkier slab running Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system in landscape mode, compared with its Jobsian rival.

A layered interface will pop up when the keyboard is hidden and the gizmo is held in the portrait position.

This won't be the first time Ballmer has attempted to big up slate computing. In fact he did at this year's CES event in January when he waved around no less than three tablet computers on stage, all of which failed to hit the shops in 2010.

And not long after that brave but ultimately poorly timed display of affection for all things slab-like, to use Ballmer parlance, the "blah blah blah" iPad landed just a few weeks later. ®

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