Microsoft to sell 80-inch Windows 8 tablet, Steve Ballmer already owns one
An 80-inch tablet? Who could ever want such a thing. Steve Ballmer for one…
Steve Ballmer isn’t usually regarded as a visionary, even though (or perhaps because) he’s the current CEO of Microsoft. However, Ballmer is reportedly leading the way in adopting Windows 8 by using an 80-inch touchscreen tablet hanging on the wall of his Redmond office. What’s more, Microsoft is planning on selling such a device to the public. Perhaps not the mainstream public but the public nonetheless.
Touchscreen tablets are likely to become the dominant force in home computing over the next few decades. The Apple iPad is currently leading the way in terms of placing a powerful device into the hands of mainstream consumers, but other manufacturers are gradually getting their act together too. There is already an abundance of Android tablets on the market, some good, some bad, while Windows 8 tablets will be arriving in the months after the release of Microsoft’s latest operating system.
Tablets typically boast screens measuring between 7- and 13-inches, while computer monitors typically go to around 30-inches. Perhaps we’re limiting ourselves here though. Perhaps what we need are huge tablets with screens measuring 80-inches or more. Microsoft for one believes there is a market for such a device.
Microsoft Vice-President Frank Shaw recently told Wired:
“Steve Ballmer has an 80-inch Windows 8 tablet in his office. He’s got rid of his phone, he’s got rid of his note paper. It’s touch-enabled and it’s hung on his wall. It’s his whiteboard, his email machine, and it’s a device we’re going to sell.”
This is to some degree simply Microsoft Surface shifted vertically and hung on the wall, but with the addition of the full Windows experience. Which actually makes a lot of sense. Surface didn’t exactly set the world alight but this suggests Ballmer and co. still believe that there is a future in the form factor. Just in a slightly altered state.
The idea of an 80-inch tablet sounds preposterous, but if you start thinking of it less as a tablet and more as an all-in-one, Internet-connected home entertainment system it doesn’t seem so potty. This product clearly won’t be mainstream for a long time, if ever, but for offices and people with money to burn this could offer an alternative to owning numerous different devices – a television set, PC, streaming media box – all designed for a single use.
There is already an increasing convergence between devices we all use in the home on a daily basis. Whether a Windows 8-powered device of this size will be the ultimate answer depends on whether you trust Microsoft to cater to all your various needs in this way. It does, however, show just how versatile Windows 8 is. Whether this cater-to-all, please-no-one approach will work remains to be seen.