Microsoft doomed unless it copies Apple -

The outfit which made a fortune short-selling subprime mortgage-backed securities, Goldman Sach, has warned that unless Microsoft makes a successful tablet it will take such a dire battering it is going to make a Mars bar in a Scottish chip shop seem wonderful by comparison.

Sachs analyst Sarah Friar seems to believe that the software company needs to get into hardware if it is going to survive.

Friar said that she doesn't have a lot of faith in the company, saying that if it's unable to join the tablet wars, its revenue growth could dwindle from 12 percent this last year to as low as seven percent in 2011.

Redmond hoped that the smartphone would increase Microsoft's share in the market in the near future, and that it would continue to hover below 10 percent, she said.

She does know that Microsoft makes software for the mobile phone and not the hardware right?

However it appears that Microsoft also thinks it should be copying Jobs' Mob a little more closely.

Apple's favourite unpaid press office,  the New York Times is claiming that Microsoft will be announcing an iPad competitor at CES. We'll be there.

At least it has spotted that Windows Mobile 7 will be under the bonnet of a tablet made by Samsung and Dell.

Already Redmond has been providing tools to help developers come up with software for devices that use HTML5.

There are even rumours that the shy and retiring Microsoft CEO, Steve "there's a kind of hush" Ballmer might make an appearance at CES with a copy of Windows 8 running on it.

Of course Ballmer announced a flagship Microsoft tablet at last year's CES, which showed up late and disappeared. But the sorts of models that are coming out now are different from the tablets that Microsoft has been trying to hawk for the best part of a decade.

They are based on the iPad's model of a keyboard-less netbook rather than trying for anything with serious computing power. This means that hardware companies can charge the earth for a gizmo that does not do very much. Microsoft, it seems, has given up on the idea of making a powerful slate computer and is just shoving its mobile software on something light.