hat a difference a year makes, when it comes to Microsoft’s slate strategy.

At the Computex show in 2010, Microsoft officials were doing some fancy footwork to differentiate slates from tablets and explain when and why OEMs would use Windows Embedded Compact vs. Windows 7 as operating systems for those different categories of devices. This year at Computex, Windows — not the Embedded Windows version — is being championed as Microsoft’s operating system for slates and tablets both.

Just a year ago, Microsoft officials were positioning Windows Embedded Compact as the operating system that Microsoft hoped PC makers would use in their slates. (Microsoft wastalking up slates a year ago as “consumption” devices, as opposed to creation devices.)

Because it could run on ARM processors, Windows Embedded Compact —version 7 of whichMicrosoft finally released to manufacturing in March of this year —was a good choice for low-power devices, the Softies said. For PC makers who wanted to createdevices that could handle both creation and consumption equally, Microsoft was touting full Windows 7 as the operating system of choice.