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Microsoft to introduce iPad rival in January

Tablet computer will run on Windows 7 and be manufactured by third parties including Samsung and Del

Microsoft will unveil its new line of tablet PCs to compete with Apple's iPad at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January, The New York Times (NYT) reported quoting sources.

The software maker is working with manufacturing partners including Samsung and Dell for the tablets that will run on the company's Windows 7 operating system.

The company is reportedly trying to push developers into creating HTML5-based applications for the devices, which the developers would sell from their own websites, rather than from a branded app store, the NYT report added.

The product will feature a slide-out keyboard and will be larger than Samsung's seven-inch tablet computer Galaxy Tab tablet, which is already on sale.

Another source at Microsoft told NYT that the company might also demonstrate a tablet and other companion devices running the next operating system Windows 8.