It's not by chance that seemingly every major tech/gadget company has been selling a tablet computer for some time now except Microsoft.
In fact the reason for Microsoft's echoing absence in the tablet market may be largely due to one man.
According to a long piece on CNET by author Jay Greene, it may have been Bill Gates' own worries that pushed Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to kill the company's Courier tablet program.
Gates had apparently been very worried that the tablet's use of a modified version of Windows would erode Microsoft's multi-billion-dollar-mainstay operating system.
. . . the device wasn't intended to be a computer replacement; it was meant to complement PCs. Courier users wouldn't want or need a feature-rich e-mail application such as Microsoft's Outlook that lets them switch to conversation views in their inbox or support offline e-mail reading and writing. The key to Courier, Allard's team argued, was its focus on content creation. Courier was for the creative set, a gadget on which architects might begin to sketch building plans, or writers might begin to draft documents.
Microsoft's Courier caused an "allergic reaction" to Bill Gates.
"This is where Bill had an allergic reaction," said one Courier worker who talked with an attendee of the meeting. As is his style in product reviews, Gates pressed Allard, challenging the logic of the approach.
Greene's piece is based on interviews with "18 current and former Microsoft executives"--all of whom asked to remain anonymous.
It paints a detailed picture of the importance Microsoft places on protecting its fattest cash cows and also on now-retired company founder Bill Gates' advice.