Microsoft has some kind of mysterious something or other today; the rumor is that they're going to announce a tablet of some kind, and we are all by now aware that Microsoft Rumors are absolutely, one hundred percent always true. But in the event that this is the freaky edge case, we've got full coverage on each rhetorical base.
As the in recorded history, I wouldn't expect a Microsoft tablet to be bad. In fact, given their excellent phone - a robust proving ground for touch UI concepts - I would expect it to be great. I would also expect that it won't actually penetrate the skull and enter into the meat of the consumer brain.
It used to be that Microsoft made dumb things, and noone cared. Now, they make great things, and get the same result. This isn't about sympathy for a literal or putative devil; it just chews on the root of the idea that merit constitutes some kind of magical force.
In another Era, manufacturers would have endeavored to create compatibility of some kind with a competitor; either physically or in software. The wholly digital nature of today's "app" environment makes that more or less impossible. More recently, Microsoft has realized that other manufacturer's phones exist and might be a good way to extend an electronic tendril which draws a person back into their circular maw. SmartGlass is the next wing of that, which we theorized as a joke in ; success is about Ubiquity, even on your competitors' platforms.