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Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT ) executives will take to the road next week to talk up a tablet version of the Windows operating system, Bloomberg reported yesterday. The news came a day after The Seattle Times reported that one of Mr. Softy's original tablet architects -- Otto Berkes -- submitted his resignation after 18 years at the company.
So we know someone else other than Berkes will be leading the effort to produce a Windows tablet. What we don't yet know is how it will look and what it will feature. If Bloomberg's right, we'll hear more about that during next week's All Things D conference.
Expect partners to be interested regardless of what Microsoft says there. At January's Consumer Electronics Show, Motley Fool Rule Breakers colleague Karl Thiel and I saw a mockup of a Windows tab from China's BYD. Representatives there said the company built a reference design in hopes of winning business as a manufacturer of mass-market Windows tabs. Suddenly, that strategy looks quite smart.
Yet there are good reasons to remain skeptical. Berkes, also a co-creator of the Xbox, had reported to Ray Ozzie before he left Microsoft, casting a cloud over Mr. Softy's cloud computing strategy. Berkes' departure is only slightly less troubling.
Call it another instance where a known tech visionary, quite literally the guy who built the tablet PC Bill Gates showed off in 2005, is leaving for something different. Disgruntled investors can only hope that he doesn't end up with Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL ) or Google (Nasdaq: GOOG ) .
Do you foresee that occurring? Should investors care if it does? You tell us. Please vote in the poll below and then leave a comment to tell us whether you're interested in Mr. Softy's tablet dabbling.
What should the Windows tablet do that the iPad and Android tabs don't? Let us know using the comments box below. You can also add Microsoft to your watchlist to get more Foolish analysis of this stock.