Microsoft, Ballmer Envious of iPad's Success, Insists Windows Tablets are a Priority

Paul Lilly

As the only option in town, Apple has been able to move a bunch of iPads to eager tablet owners, and don't think for a second Microsoft hasn't taken notice.

"They've sold certainly more than I'd like them to have sold," said Steve Ballmer , the ever candid CEO of Microsoft.

Ballmer's comments came while speaking at Microsoft's financial analyst meeting on Thursday, in which the CEO not only wanted to reassure that the future is looking hunky-dory, but that Windows-based tablets will definitely play a role in the near-term.

"They'll be shipping as soon as they are ready," Ballmer said. "It is job one urgency. No one is sleeping at the switch." Ballmer went to explain that the goal is "not just to deliver products, but to deliver products that people want to buy."

The problem for Microsoft is that it hasn't always identified which types of products people will want to buy, as exemplified by the company's recent Kin phone failure.

On the tablet front, it's been a bumpy road so far for Microsoft. The Redmond outfit ended up pulling its dual-display Courier earlier this year, and more recently, HP put on hold plans to launch its Windows 7-based Slate.

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