The global chief research and strategy officer for Microsoft, Craig Mundie, told an audience this morning that he did not know whether tablets like the Apple iPad would "remain with us or not".
Speaking in Sydney during an event organised by the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA), the Microsoft executive went on to acknowledge that Microsoft failed to grasp the vital difference between mobile and portable.
He articulated his point by saying that smartphones are likely to become "your most personal computer" (one which we called the Very Personal Computer), while laptops are likened to portable desks.
According to Mundie, tablets on the other hand are inbetweeners that thrive in the space between the two categories of devices.
Microsoft is already working on Windows 8 as a tablet operating system and has already started to send private invites for strategic partners to test the new OS.
Mundie's comments come shortly after Dell expressed its scepticism over the success of Apple iPad family within an enterprise ecosystem, comments that were also made in Australia.
He also hinted at a new mobile technology being developed in Microsoft's labs that "beams individual rays of light into the user's eyes right on the retina", a bit like a reverse portable projector.