The guys over at Macworld seem to think Microsoft have fallen into some kind of trap because they're experimenting with new Tablet PC form factors.

All right, Microsoft, we get it: you’re taking on Apple on every front. You’ve rolled out a touch-screen media player. You’ve taken pot shots at Cupertino’s laptop line. You’re opening up your own retail stores, with staff that may or may not be poached from Apple’s. But launching your own mythical tablet device? You’ve fallen right into the trap.

What trap?

That’s not to say Courier couldn’t be cool, but I couldn’t shake the feeling of déjà vu. Courier looks like yet another attempt in the vein of Microsoft Surface and the Tablet PC, both of which gained about as much traction as fried eggs on Teflon. Redmond’s attempts to reinvent the way we interact with information have repeatedly slipped on the banana peel of actual usability.

Nobody expected the Surface to gain "traction", it costs $10,000. The point is its out there so people can start thinking about the technology.

As for the Tablet PC, if that doesn't have traction than neither does the Macintosh. I haven't seen any figures lately but in 2007 the Tablet PC doubled its marketshare over 2006, to about 7% of mobile computer sales, this has been trending upwards since their release. That's much larger than the marketshare of the Macintosh.

Of course when Apple bring out their mythical tablet, the same one the Apple fanboys have been gushing over all year, suddenly tablet computers will be awesome. Until then, the fanboys will just knock anything to do with Microsoft, good or not.