Ballmer touts Windows tablets for the masses

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has confirmed plans to sedate the restless masses with a veritable smorgasbord of Windows-powered tablets by the end of 2010.

That’s right, Windows. The gift that keeps on giving and just won’t go away.

Yes, the horror should have stopped with 3.1, but the Neville Chamberlins of the tech world have always reacted with weakness to Microsoft’s offensive OS – regardless of iteration and platform. 

The result? A bloated operating system that has somehow found its way onto a wide-range of tablet devices.

So, forget about Apple’s “magical” iPad. Don’t even think about buying that sleek Android tablet you’ve been lusting after.

Windows is back, baby, with a vengeance.

Indeed, the embarrassing Kin debacle has only encouraged Microsoft to regain its mobile mojo and resume a long-standing feud with Apple and Google.

But don’t take it from me. Here is what the balmy Ballmer has to say about Windows-based tablets:

“One of the most important things we’ll do in the smart device category is really push forward with Windows 7-based slates and with Win 7 phones,” Ballmer told an adoring audience of 14,000 at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in Washington, DC.

“This is a terribly important area for us. It certainly is an area where we feel all the energy, vigor and push to innovate, to drive hard and compete.”

Um, what’s that about preaching to the choir? 

Well, never you mind, because a number of prominent vendors – such as Asus, Dell, Samsung, Toshiba and Sony – have already committed to manufacturing a wide “range” of Windows-based slates.

“[They] will come with keyboards,without keyboards, they’ll be dockable… they’ll accept ink as well as touch-based input.”

So be afraid, be very afraid. The end of mobile innocence and competence may very well be nigh.