That’s a prediction from Goldman Sachs, and one I can thoroughly endorse. Putting the figure at one-third is about what I have personally thought since I first saw the iPad on a viewing of Charlie Rose.

There are many people who really don’t need a computer that has all the components of the average desktop, or laptop, for that matter. That is why the Google Cr-48 may not be the success that Google is hoping for.

If all you’re doing is accessing e-mail, movie times at the theater, checking on directions to the new house of a friend, or looking up a synonym of a word, you really don’t need a full laptop, and probably can do with either a plug-in keyboard, or one that appears on the screen of the device. We have seen that it is not that awkward to type on an iPad, and with the addition of a thin-membrane keyboard that would slide into a carrier with the iPad, for heavy duty entry, many people would be more than satisfied.

Then there are those that will actually not replace PCs but augment them in such a way as to stave off the purchase of another PC for the next couple of years – to the PC market, that’s a loss, not matter how well  the description is couched.

The real bomb for some companies, such as Microsoft and Intel, is that these will not be the big players in the tablet market. ARM and Android are predicted to be the big players in this future full of tablets in hands.

Perhaps that is why Mr. Ballmer is so worried when he speaks about Internet Explorer 9, or Windows 8, or anything else that Microsoft is currently in the process of working on. It certainly must be the reason for the FUD about the upcoming demonstration of Windows 7 ostensibly running on a tablet demonstrated by Mr. Ballmer at CES. (I’d love to get a seat in the place of that promo!)

Does anyone else remember when Mr. Ballmer said that Windows 7 tablets would be in the stores by Christmas? Unless Microsoft has some deal worked out with Kris Kringle, that isn’t going to happen.

The same article speaking of the Goldman Sachs predictions also records that overall – the operative word – Apple now has nearly 12% of the computing market, when iPad is included. That’s a long way from the expected demise of the late ‘90s, or the 5% total of just a few years ago. (We must also remember that the entire market in total is expanding, which makes the gains more prodigious.)

Because the tablet featuring Windows 7 has been a no-show, and because the iPad and its workalikes have been doing so well with buyers, Goldman has changed its assessment of Microsoft stocks to neutral instead of buy – that must have hit hard in the halls of Redmond.

The majority of people who frequent tech sites must remember they are not the prime target of the tablet PC. For the makers of them, snatching a PC user is just gravy. The target is everyone that just doesn’t feel the need for a PC, including all of the (sorry, no misogyny intended, you know it’s true) housewives and young women that don’t want a PC because of the trouble of finding a place for it in the home décor. For an iPad or similar, it slips into a drawer with no fuss, no bother.

Some will say that this is the target of the smartphone, but we must remember what is comfortable and ergonomic, and for most, reading a book, doing the writing of a more-than-2-line e-mail, or assessing the family budget is not handy on a smartphone, but fits nicely on a tablet, which is about the size of an old-fashioned pad of paper.