Speaking at a conference in Sydney this week, Microsoft's (Nasdaq: MSFT) chief research and strategy officer, Craig Mundie, seemed to think little of tablet computing.

"I don't know whether the big screen tablet pad category is going to remain with us or not," Mundie told his audience.

Good. Lord. Even if he were being tongue in cheek -- as in, "I'm not sure tablets replace PCs," which is a perfectly legitimate claim -- his nonchalant behavior convinces me that I was right to question whether Mr. Softy would ever be cheap enough.

Apparently, the Kinect was the outlier. Innovation is for suckers. Tablets? We don't need no stinkin' tablets! Who cares if Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) is prepared to sell tens of millions of iPads, and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) is signing new Android tablet partners at a rapid pace? It's a fad! Pfffft.

Dismissing tablets as simple hype may be OK for pundits, but it's dangerous for so-called product strategists. The former only forfeits credibility. The latter? Tens of millions in potential profits. Please take this market more seriously, Mr. Mundie.

Do you agree? Disagree? Let us know what you think about tablets and Microsoft's strategy using the comments box below.

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