It was January 2010, and front and center at CES was Steve Ballmer who "demoed" for us three (he really only used one) "slate" products running Windows 7. Well, "demo" is really an generous description. Ballmer picked the slate up, did a few things with it and then put it back on the shelf next to the other two "slates". We were told that 2010 would be a year full of slate product introductions — and it was going to be exciting!
Ballmer got his prediction half correct. On January 27, Apple launched the iPad — a real tablet that ran a sophisticated OS and it began shipping in mass in April. If you had an iPhone or iPod Touch, you knew how to use the iPad right out of the box: download software, sync with your computer and everything else. Even better your iPhone/iPod Touch software could be used on the iPad. Developers also were in luck as they didn't need to do much to adjust their apps for the iPad either.
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