incrediBILL - 11:23 pm on Jul 30, 2010 (gmt 0)
I don't think anyone saw tablets as an obvious future.
Held one in my hands in the early 90s at Lotus, wanted it THEN!
The iPad is close, close enough really.
People still *prefer* Windows, though.
That's not really true.
People buy all sorts of Smart Phones and only a small percentage run Windows, they could case less.
People love easy to use data appliances with data interchangeability and MS Office is what makes the PC that appliance and the Mac for that matter.
However, using Open Office you can pretty much accomplish the same things with Linux, Windows or Mac, and exchange data with MS Office, so spruce up Open Office with a more modern look and it'll be a much easier sell.
IMO, Ballmer should be more worried about Android than the iPad because most of the new tablets coming out are Android, meaning MS has lost control of the niche already, and the Android Marketplace is booming with new apps daily.
MS has not only let Apple run lead but allowed Google to take second, they're coming up a shaky third place at this point.