Despite not really being a gigantic fan of tablet computing personally, I still marvel at the abilities of these mobile dynamos. Now according to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, we can expect to see Microsoft powered slate computers by Christmas 2010. Note, he said “see them”. No mention of whether they will be for sale or even if we can actually go to a big box store and buy one. As difficult as it is to put together, it feels like Microsoft is fast approaching vaporware with their slate offerings if something isn’t released soon.

Speaking exclusively for myself, I’d welcome a Microsoft powered slate as it would add more competition to the mix of an already growing iOS/Android slate computing world. Late the game as per usual, I can only assume that when Microsoft does FINALLY release their answer to Apple’s move to make the notebook a non-starter, the Redmond giant will be able to hold their own. Thus far, it’s not looking very promising.

As the years pass, it feels like Apple is becoming the de facto provider for things wanted by consumers while Microsoft opts to respond to everything they do, after the fact. While Microsoft remains king of the enterprise Jungle, Apple’s iOS has already made some healthy dents into the mind share of mobile users all over the world. When you think smart phone these days, it’s either the iPhone or Android. This means that Microsoft needs to get their butts in gear. They have the Windows Phone 7 OS coming out soon, now its time to see some signs of life in the tablet arena as well.