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.

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8 replies on “Microsoft invites iPad users to participate in a study”

    1. I agree but I can’t help but wonder: why isn’t Microsoft more discreet about that ? They are caught red-handed, they can’t be that stupid

  1. Wow. Two useless posts.
    Here’s my $0.02. Microsoft could be doing all three things – finding out what people like about the iPad, introducing iPad users to a new Microsoft slate, or researching what software to develop for the iPad. My guess is they’re trying to figure out what their Windows 7 tablet can implement to attract people away from the iPad.
    Also: let’s stop with the copying comments. All companies copy and innovate from other ideas. If this were illegal, then innovation would grind to a halt. Don’t drink the kool-aid, please.

    1. I don’t really think Microsoft is going to produce software for iPad. However, making such a survey is a really great opportunity for them to know all iPad disadvantages and than to say that their product doesn’t have them.

  2. And on the Trademark front. . . .
    I wonder how the JP Morgan / Chase Manhattan “Slate” product and
    any MicroSoft “Slate” product will fair on the “What’s in a name?” question.

    Another thought. . . .

    What “Slate” is the JPM/CM product named after?
    The hand held chalk boards once used by school children?

    What “Slate” is the Microsoft product named after?
    The hard, very fragile, easy to break, rock?

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