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Ballmer: Microsoft Tablets Out by Christmas

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Earlier today, Neowin reported that Microsoft's hastened foray into the arena of tablet computing will be unveiled at next week's Windows Phone 7 conference. Although Microsoft subsequently denied that an official unveiling will take place at the October 11 event, Redmond wouldn't comment on whether upcoming plans for the Slate tablets would be discussed.

However, what was confirmed -- straight from the cue ball's mouth -- was that the tablet computers will be available by the holiday season.

Speaking at the London School of Economics this week, Steve Ballmer remained confident that Microsoft's line of tablet computers will be set for release before this Christmas. Whether this will include the HP device shown off nearly 10 months ago has yet to be determined.

Microsoft has been criticized for biding its time on tablet computer development -- allowing companies like Apple, Google, and Dell to take the reins. But analysts are worried a rushed release could destroy the company's experiment before it even begins. Added to that, Windows Phone 7 also has an imminent debut, and divided attention could hamstring a company who's losing market share in virtually every front.

Even more worrisome, Ballmer's overconfidence. When discussing Microsoft's position in cloud computer, he addressed his excitement with the progress his company has made. "The cloud gets smarter every day," he said. "People are demanding smarter devices that connect to that cloud in intelligent ways."

Adding, "I love where we are in the cloud. I feel we're ahead of whoever the closest second rival is."

Somebody fire up Gmail and Google Docs and show Steve. They may have to plan another mock funeral.
POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.