Ballmer's HP tablet isn't Microsoft's Courier tablet

An important clarification for Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer’s kickoff keynote address this evening at the Consumer Electronics Show:

  • Yes, Ballmer plans to show a tablet computer made by HP. The New York Times has confirmed this beyond a reasonable doubt.
  • No, the tablet computer Ballmer is said to be planning to show off is not, repeat NOT Microsoft’s Courier protoype, also made by HP. Wall Street Journal veteran Kara Swisher confirmed this with her own trusted sources.
  • Yes, this is confusing.

ballmer-2The Courier, an under-development machine said to be depicted in a spy photo published by gadget blog Gizmodo last September, is more likely to be Microsoft’s response to the unicorn-like Apple tablet for which VentureBeat is still collecting readers’ predictions.

The tablet Ballmer will show reportedly does not yet have an official model name.

Ballmer’s presentation begins at 6:15 sharp. VentureBeat writers Dean Takahashi and Anthony Ha will be covering it. ¬†Attendees will be barred from uploading live video from the event. Someone will probably do it anyway.

Check out our CES 2010 coverage.