Sure, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer seems pretty confident that we’ll start to see Windows 7 Slates from big name PC makers before the end of the year. But that doesn’t mean Microsoft doesn’t have anything to learn from the Apple iPad. In fact, the company is inviting iPad users to come to Microsoft’s Redmond campus to participate in a study.
If you happen to be an iPad user living in the area, you can hit up the Facebook page for the event and let Microsoft know if you’re available for two hours sometime between July 16th and July 21st.
It’s interesting that the study isn’t asking for tablet PC users… but rather for iPad users. While Microsoft isn’t spilling any details about the study, it sounds like the company is interested in finding out how people use the Apple tablet, what they like about it, and what they don’t like about it.
Or maybe Microsoft just wants to hand these people shiny new Windows 7 slates and see how they compare. Heck, I wouldn’t be surprised if they handed them Windows 7 Slates and told them they were new versions of the iPad with special software to see what they think… it wouldn’t be all that different from the Mojave Experiment Microsoft pulled a few years back when researchers told people they were using the “next Microsoft OS” without mentioning the fact that it was really the much-maligned Windows Vista.
Then again, perhaps this is an indication that Microsoft really is developing software for the iPad… or plans to launch a Windows Phone 7-based tablet to compete with it. Only time will tell.