Did Ballmer leave door ajar for Windows Phone 7 tablet?

Reading the tea leaves, it sure sounds like Microsoft is at least open to a Windows Phone 7 tablet. That's a move that would make a lot of sense.

Larry Dignan

Perhaps Microsoft isn't so stubborn about Windows 7 tablets after all. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer may have just left himself an out to pave the way for a Windows Phone 7 tablet. The official line is that Microsoft will not offer a Windows Phone 7 tablet.

Ballmer, speaking at the Gartner Symposium today in Orlando, was set up for a rough keynote from the beginning. Gartner set up the interview as a consumer/enterprise dueling banjos sort of thing. Naturally, tablets came up. When asked whether there would be a Windows Phone 7 tablet instead of a Windows 7 slate, Ballmer held up a WP7 phone and said:

"This is Windows too. Could be this Windows or another Windows. There are technical details I'm not getting into today. We get multiple experiences."

Ballmer could have been referring to Windows embedded and Windows 7 on tablets. However, Ballmer seemed to indicate that Windows Phone 7 would be a possibility--or at least that experience.

Read more of "Did Ballmer leave the door ajar for Windows Phone 7 tablet?" at ZDNet's Between the Lines.