Microsoft (MSFT) currently has a 4.2% share of the worldwide smartphone market and 0% share of the market for tablet computers, but that didn't stop Gartner from predicting back in April -- two months before this week's big Windows 8 announcements -- that Redmond was about to take a significant share of both.
"IT departments will see Windows 8 as the opportunity to deploy tablets on an OS that is familiar to them and with devices offered by many enterprise-class suppliers," Gartner's Carolina Milanesi wrote in an April 7 press release. Without having heard about -- never mind seen -- the Surface tablets, she predicted that Microsoft would grab a 4.1% share of the tablet market before the end of 2012 and an 11.8% share by 2016. That would put Surface in third place after Apple's (AAPL) iOS and Google's (GOOG) Android.
Microsoft Corp kept its personal computer partners largely in the dark about its plans to launch a competing tablet computer, with some long-time collaborators learning of the new gadget only days before its unveiling
and if Acer founder Stan Shih knows more than the others (or most)