Microsoft Will Use CES To Push A Slate Of Slates

Back in July, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer described the company’s tablet strategy as “job one urgency here.” But he declined to say when any tablets running the company’s Windows 7 would debut and to date only one has. That is expected to change, starting at the Consumer Electronics Show, next month.

The NYT, citing sources, says in a report today, that Ballmer will show off “a number” of tablets running the operating system, presumably during his keynote address on Jan. 5. At one point last summer, Microsoft said it had 21 partners who would release slates running Windows 7 “within the year.” The NYT confirms two: Dell and Samsung. No word, however, on when any of these may come to market.

If this sounds like a bit of deja vu, that’s because Ballmer actually showed off three different slate PCs running Windows 7 during his keynote a year ago.

Only one of those, the HP (NYSE: HPQ) Slate 500, which is geared toward “professionals,” has come to market so far. These latest devices will also apparently be aimed at business users, with the NYT citing its source as saying that Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) “believes there is a huge market for business people who want to enjoy a slate for reading newspapers and magazines and then work on Microsoft Word, Excel or PowerPoint while doing work.”