Just hours after Apple launched its iPad, Microsoft released its own tablet offering. The iBall -- named after the company's charismatic chief executive Steve Ballmer -- features a slick user interface, a stylus-driven screen with bezel-mounted push-buttons and a massive 40GB hard drive.
Buyers will have their choice of operating systems for the device: Windows XPT (XP for Tablet) Home, XPT Home Professional, XPT Home Enterprise, XPT Enterprise Professional Not for Home, XPT Ultimate Enterprise and XPT Ultimate Enterprise Professional Gold Label. The latter four products may be purchased under standard enterprise licensing agreements, including Select, Select + S.A., Enterprise and new Simplified Volume Licensing (SVL), which is offered with and without software assurance, depending upon volume category, gross margin potential and other factors.
Ballmer was upbeat during the announcement, saying that "...we've finally beaten Apple at its own game. We're sexier, sleekier and altogether user-friendlier. I think we represent the state-of-the-art for this class of device -- and we intend to stay there."
Unit prices were not released at the sparsely attended event, though company executives promised that it would be "nearly competitive" with similarly-equipped Apple models. Included with each iBall is a complimentary copy of MineSweeper for Tablets, a stylus-compatible version of the beloved game classic.
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