Next week, if reports are to be believed, Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's ebullient chief, is set to reclaim his crown as the technology industry's most muddled-headed thinker. Given this is a market where major firms can seemingly believe that a solar-powered umbrella is a neat idea, the competition for this title is pretty fierce.
But what else can one conclude from the reports – which first surfaced on gossip site The Wrap and have seemingly been verified by respected industry blog AllThingsD - that the firm will hold an event where it unveils a Windows-powered tablet that it is building itself?
There is apparently no other way that Microsoft could tackle the awesome market demand for Apple's iPad other than controlling the soup-to-nuts creation of a Windows-powered tablet itself.
Such thinking would no doubt come as some surprise to the litany of partners that Microsoft has lined up to build the next generation of Windows tablets, such as HP, Dell, Acer, Asus and Lenovo, all of whom have significant investments in the Windows operating system.
Nokia would hardly be cock-a-hoop either. Its leaders have bet the business on Windows Phone and has long been expected to ship its own Windows tablet.
There is of course, one other explanation – that at least holds out some hope for Ballmer's sanity – that the reports are off target.
Microsoft may indeed be planning a big tablet reveal next week, but perhaps it's worked really closely with one of its partners to build the device – much in the way Google had partners to build its flagship Nexus Android handsets. For now, Microsoft isn't saying.
But if the reports are true, then has Microsoft really learned nothing of its attempts to take on Apple in the past? We all remember what happened to the Zune, don't we?
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