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iPad killer is Microsoft's top priority

Microsoft top dog Steve Ballmer has said that toppling Apple's iPad tablet device is the company's top priority.

Speaking to financial news site Bloomberg, the Redmond software outfit's bullish CEO said, "Today, one of the top issues on my mind is ‘Hey there’s a category we have had Windows on for a long time and Apple’s done an interesting job of putting together a synthesis and putting a product out'."

Windows-based tablets have been about since 2002 but never gained any real traction. Apple has sold more than three million iPads since the 'magical' device was launched three months ago.

Ballmer said he wasn't too worried about what the other also-rans in the soon-to-be-crowded tablet PC market were up to, saying, "If we can’t compete with whatever the weird collection of Android machines is going to look like, shame on us."

Ballmer fired a shot across Apple's bows by bellowing, “We’re coming. We’re coming full guns,” in his normal understated manner.

Microsoft has recently signed a licensing deal with Brit chip designer ARM, the company which is thought to be behind the Apple A4 SoC which powers the iPad and the iPhone 4.