Windows 7 consumer tablet announcement on October 11?

Microsoft is bringing Windows Phone 7 along to New York City on October 11th 2010 – and we'll be there to tell you all the details – but according to a new report that's not the only thing the company will be discussing.  Neowin has heard from sources that Microsoft execs will also be discussing the company's tablet plans, including announcing – or at least previewing – a portfolio of devices that should be on sale in time for the holiday shopping season.

The specific hardware partners involved have not been named, though Microsoft has apparently been working with several OEMs to produce what's described as "a genuine answer to the iPad."  The company's supposed fear is that the iPad's dominance and falling netbook market share are both eating into Windows profits.

Of course, we've seen various consumer-centric Windows 7 tablets previewed over the past few months, and there are plenty of existing tablets (often convertible touchscreen notebooks) already on sale.  Dell has confirmed it is evaluating Windows 7 for a slate, and HP's supposedly enterprise-focused model continues to leak.