Intel, Microsoft, and the curious case of the iPad

Brooke Crothers: "That tablet thing? Yeah, we'll get back to you on that." That's a crude but fairly accurate encapsulation of the attitude Microsoft, Intel, and Advanced Micro Devices have toward the iPad and the tablet market in general.

Why the cavalier attitude? Before I defer to the opinion of an IDC analyst I interviewed (below), here's one pretty obvious reason I'll put forward. All three companies look at their revenue streams--traditional PC hardware and software on laptops, desktops, and servers--and come to the conclusion that the tablet is a marginal market. A deceptively accurate conclusion, because at this point in time--and even 12 months out--the tablet is marginal compared with the gargantuan laptop, desktop, and server markets...