Ballmer: Windows 7 to be on slates “When it’s ready”

In an interview with The Seattle Times, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was asked when we’ll see Windows 7 on slate devices like the iPad. I know how I would have answered. I’m sure you have your own answer as well. Let’s see how they match up with Ballmer’s response.

Q: When are we going to see Windows 7 on a slate device like the iPad?

A: When it’s ready. A Windows 7 slate shipped today. … The question is when are we going to see additional form factors. We’ll see some at Christmas, we’ll see some after Christmas, and all through the next year. …

Were you close? I wasn’t.

So, quite a few ways to take that response. You could interpret it to mean that Windows 7 is not ready for slates, so that slate that shipped today is using a not-ready version of Windows 7 (just like the one on my tablets). Or he could mean it’s ready now because a Windows 7 slate shipped today. Or maybe it doesn’t matter because of all the additional form factors we’ll see in the future. When are we going to see these additional non-slate form factors?

In any case, Ballmer is still talking about Windows 7 tablets like they are products of a time yet to come, intently ignoring the fact we have had Windows-based Tablet PCs and UMPCs in slate, convertible, and other form factors for years. It’s bad enough to see and deal with folks who believe the HP Slate will be the first Windows 7 slate (and have never seen the touch features in the OS they use every day), but the CEO of Microsoft? That’s just another ton of demoralization on top of the pile (and I already started the day with a big pile of my own).