405732 01: Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates (L) and Chairman and CEO for Toys R Us John Eyler (R) hold up the Tablet PC which runs on Windows XP, they attend the Microsoft CEO Summit with Microsoft CEO Steve Balmer (C), May 22, 2002 in Redmond, WA. The CEO summit is a meeting of over 100 CEOs from around the world gathered for sessions on how companies can use technology to respond more quickly to the changing global business landscape. (Photo by Ron Wurzer/Getty Images)
Note to Steve Balmer: Next time you beat Steve Jobs to a product, don't cancel it.
The Microsoft CEO introduced the world to an HP-powered tablet computer at last year's CES. Perhaps the most significant part of the announcement was the fact that Balmer made it weeks before Steve Jobs introduced the world to the iPad.
A year later, things are history. Microsoft killed the iPad-fighter just four months after entering it into the fight and Apple is projected to almost triple its PC market share next year in large part thanks to the success of the iPad.
Now Microsoft is ready to go toe-to-toe with Apple but it might be too little too late. Balmer is expected to re-introduce the once-shelved Microsoft tablet at this year's CES.
But what has changed in a year?
Microsoft has been down this road before. Despite the tablet, the software company was late to the game in introducing its Windows Phone and the company was years late to try and compete with Apple's retail stores.
The new tablet is expected to run Windows 7 and one version will reportedly be manufactured by Samsung and it will feature a slideout keyboard. But it will be larger than Samsung's current 7-inch tablet already for sale on the market.
The New York Times says the Microsoft tablet will be about the same size at the iPad but it won't be as thin. Microsoft is also reportedly pushing developers to build apps for the tablet.
So what exactly has Microsoft learned in a year?