The iPad 2 may have sold nearly a million units on launch weekend, and the number of Android tablets announced is verging on jaw-dropping - but it doesn't look like a Windows Phone 7 touch-tab is on the cards any time soon.
While manufacturers as diverse as Samsung, Motorola, Asus and Archos are all scrambling to release their own competitors to Apple's market-defining device, Microsoft's global chief research and strategy officer Craig Mundie has said he's not even sure the new gadget category will stick around.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Mundie instead believes that in the futrue, consumers are likely to end up owning a high-powered smartphone and laptop instead. "[Mobile versus portable devices] are going to bump into one another a little bit and so today you can see tablets and pads and other things that are starting to live in the space in between. Personally I don't know whether that space will be a persistent one or not," he said.
It does explain why there hasn't even been a whiff of a Windows Phone 7-powered tablet, when even BlackBerry has chimed in with its soon to launch PlayBook. Bar devices like Acer's W100 Iconia Tab, which manage to squeeze Microsoft's Windows 7 PC OS into screens a fraction the size of a desktop monitor, Microsoft seems wary of the tablet space - perhaps due in part to its failed attempt to kickstart it over a decade a go. In stark contrast to the tactile immediacy of the iPad, Microsoft's tablets then were laptop-like devices with swivelling screens operated by stylus.