Microsoft Won't Fight the iPad or Android Tablets Until the End of 2012. Ugh.

Unbelievable. If this is true. Businessweek reports that Microsoft "won't release a competitor to Apple Inc. and Google Inc.'s tablet operating systems until the 2012 back-to- school season."

That's the end of the 2012. 18 months from now. Months after a third iPad (or maybe even fourth, who knows). And Android 4.0 or 4.5 or 5.0 or whatever. That's two-and-a-half years after the original iPad launched, redefining the kind of computer that the founder of Microsoft dreamed would be the future of computing. Google managed to respond in a year. Palm, despite going bankrupt and being devoured by the hulking corporate beast that is HP, will have its own tablet in just a little while longer.

It's staggering. Like, really. As much as one may have a distaste for Apple, at least it does things. It ships products. The reason the iPad and Apple got to redefine smartphones and tablets is because Microsoft let them. The iPad was basically untouched by the whole consumer electronics industry for nearly an entire year. And Microsoft's giving it a whole 'nother year, plus change, to get even better. All because it wants to put Windows on everything. FFS. [Businessweek]