Ballmer: Prep for small Windows tablet take over in the coming months

Small Windows tablets
Microsoft is making room for small Windows tablets

Look for a wash of tinier Windows 8 tablets coming to stores over the next several months, proclaimed Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer at the company's Build 2013 conference today.

"We're going to see a proliferation of Windows small tablet devices over the course of the next several months," promised Ballmer during the Day 1 keynote.

Microsoft is including its Office software with these Windows 8 tablets, giving the small screen devices a free copy of Office Home and Student 2013.

The company's generous mood continued when Ballmer announced that all Build conference attendees would receive a Acer Iconia W3 tablet (a Surface Pro was later gifted to the developer crowd by Windows head Julie Larson-Green).

"It's the perfect device for a student who wants to do homework and have a little entertainment at the same time," Ballmer said of the fittingly sized 8.1-inch tablet.

More small Windows 8 tablets to come

Although Microsoft didn't announce a Surface Mini as one of the new smaller tablets, Ballmer did note that small W8 tabs won't be missing from Build.

"For the first time today, we'll really spend some time showing you small tablets running Windows.

"This small tablet form factor is very important. I wouldn't call them PCs, but there will be Windows small tablets. You'll see it, you'll touch it, you'll feel it."

Windows devices

So many Windows to choose from

While Ballmer and a sampling of executives talked specifically about smaller tablets, Ballmer ended the keynote with a more general pronouncement:

"We will sell hundreds of millions of windows devices this year," Ballmer said. "Windows phones, Windows tablets, Windows PCs."

Confidence is certainly not lacking with the CEO.

Matt Swider