gbll writes with news that Microsoft is gearing up to aggressively pursue the tablet PC market, according to CEO Steve Ballmer. Microsoft is working with a variety of hardware companies including Asus, Dell, Samsung, Toshiba and Sony, to release Windows 7 slates later this year. "These slates will be available at a variety of price points and in a variety of form factors — with keyboards, touch only, dockable, able to handle digital ink, etc. Since Ballmer showed off a prototype of a Windows 7 slate from Hewlett-Packard at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, the company has said next-to-nothing about how it planned to address the slate form-factor space. ... Ballmer never mentioned the iPad or the coming Chrome OS-based slates by name during his remarks. Microsoft’s pitch will be that these slates will be sanctioned by corporate IT departments, enabling customers to use them at work and at home."