Considering its heritage with both desktop and mobile operating systems, you would expect Microsoft to have been one of the first out of the blocks with a tablet-friendly version of one of its OSes.
But of course that hasn't happened yet, and worse still it looks like it'll be in the region of 18 months until it does, with new reports suggesting Microsoft is only targeting the “2012 back-to-school season”.
Of course, Windows 7 is already in play on a number of tablets, but Microsoft's desktop OS wasn't expressly designed for the form factor, and lacks the intuitiveness of mobile platforms such as iOS and Android, not to mention its own Windows Phone 7.
Microsoft has already admitted as much, and is working towards making Windows more touch-friendly and resource-light to suit the specific needs of tablets.
Yet in seems it'll be a long time before we we'll see the results of its labours, as according to Bloomberg public testing of the next version of Windows is only set to begin at the end of the year, and actual products running the system only likely to hit the shelves in Q3 next year.
“If 2011 is the year of the tablet wars, Microsoft will be awfully late suiting up for that battle,” Gartner's Michael Gartenberg told Bloomberg. “It’s not a good position to be in.”
It certainly isn't. With Android currently going great guns and Apple firmly in place at the top of the tree, you wonder if there will still be any market share worth grabbing by then.
“Battle lines are being drawn, land is being grabbed, users are being evangelised and spending money,” Gartenberg added.