Dell Prepping Windows Tablet, Refreshing Business PCs

Reuters

Dell Inc is preparing a tablet device for business users that runs Microsoft's Windows software, as the company continues to push aggressively into the mobile market.

The world's No. 2 maker of personal computers has already launched tablets that run on Google's Android mobile software, but Dell said its commercial customers are looking for the familiarity of the Windows environment in a more portable package.

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"A lot of our customers are asking us for a tablet-type device that better integrates with their enterprise systems and security systems," Steve Lalla, general manager of Dell's business client group, said in an interview.

Dell will provide a sneak peek at the 10-inch Windows tablet at a media event on Tuesday, where it will also introduce a redesigned line of commercial laptops and desktop PCs.

Lalla said Intel Corp's move to halt production of certain flawed chipsets will have little affect on Dell's business PC line: "It may have no impact at all."

Dell's recent foray into tablets and smartphones is part of its overall strategy to diversify its business, which is heavily reliant on personal computer sales.

Dell has long been one of Microsoft's biggest partners, but many analysts think Windows -- which powers the vast majority of the world's traditional PCs -- is simply not a good fit for touchscreen tablets. Dell rival Hewlett-Packard launched a Windows tablet last year, but analysts say it has seen poor sales.

Lalla compared Dell's Windows tablet -- which will run on Intel chips -- to a netbook without a keyboard. It will enable customers to use their legacy Windows applications. He expects it to launch in mid-2011.

Lalla called the refresh of the company's line of commercial PCs, "one of the largest upgrades of our portfolio in a really long time."

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