Ballmer’s whopper means 80-inch Windows 8 tablets will arrive

We’ve been reporting on many of the Windows 8 devices that will be hitting the shelves later this year and seem to be hearing news of more virtually every day. Now we have news that’s a little different though as it concerns an 80-inch Windows 8 tablet that already exists and will apparently one day come to the general market in some form.

It’s difficult to imagine an 80-inch tablet but it has already been made and is hanging on the wall in Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s office according to Microsoft VP Frank Shaw. Although tablets were aimed at being more portable devices there’s no way that anybody could describe an 80-inch slate as portable but when you think about it this kind of whopping tablet could be really useful, especially in a business environment.

Frank Shaw described Ballmer’s office and the huge Windows 8 tablet saying that Ballmer had scrapped using a phone or notepaper in favor of the giant touch-enabled tablet on his office wall. While we can imagine that this was produced as a one-off device, let’s face it Ballmer has the means at his disposal, Shaw also asserted that Microsoft plans to release this to the public saying, “It’s his whiteboard, his email machine, and it’s a device we’re going to sell,” according to Wired.

Some readers may have already heard of an 80-inch Sharp Aquos Board touchscreen that will be Microsoft-powered and was announced earlier this year, but this is not the same device. Ballmer’s whopper runs on Windows 8 and Shaw said that a different manufacturer makes this one so we now know that the operating system will support tablets of this size as well as the more standard devices.

While the launch of the 80-inch tablet will not be aimed at the general consumer initially, Shaw also pointed out that “historically we know that that’s how all things start,” and asserted his belief that one day tablets will be “small, wall-sized and desk-sized.” Although the Windows 8 OS is set to be previewed by consumers in June and released later this year, it doesn’t seem likely that this 80-inch tablet will go on general sale in the near future but it does sound as though the arrival of larger tablets designed for office use will come eventually.

Cnet also brings news of a large tablet, which although isn’t the gigantic size of Ballmer’s is still much larger than usual. ViewSonic is to release a 22-inch tablet aimed at business use running Android ICS. Unlike the 80-inch tablet it seems the ViewSonic tablet may get to the market quite soon and is expected to be shown at Computex which begins on June 5 so we’ll bring you more on that if we hear it.

What are your thoughts on Ballmer’s massive device? Is size everything? Can you imagine a widespread use of such jumbo-sized tablets before too long? Let us know what you think by sending your comments.


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