Microsoft is hard at work preparing a Windows-based alternative to Apple’s already-popular iPad tablet, the company’s CEO Steve Ballmer told analysts on Thursday. Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Asus, Lenovo, and Toshiba are cooperating with Microsoft on such a device, expected later this year, in a bid to catch up with Apple and Google Android.
“It is job-one urgency around here. Nobody’s sleeping at this point,” Ballmer told analysts. The Microsoft CEO was also surprised to hear Apple sold more than 3 million iPads, since launched in April: “They’ve sold more than I’d like them to sell. We think about that,” he said.
Ballmer’s idea of an iPad alternative will use Intel processors and Windows 7, instead of its mobile Windows Phone 7 platform. Besides that comment, he offered no details on the upcoming Windows-powered tablets.
Google Android, Apple’s biggest rival in the mobile computing arena, also secured its spot on several upcoming tablets. Cisco, Dell, Asus, LG, and Samsung, to name a few, have announced Android-based tablets, slated to arrive this autumn.