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Tech Rumor: Microsoft May Tout Tablet

Updated from Tuesday, Sept. 22

REDMOND, Wash. (TheStreet) -- Apple's (APPL) Tablet plans may have been grabbing the headlines recently, but Microsoft (MSFT) is also rumored to be planning its own entry into the space, details of which may soon be revealed.

Citing unnamed sources, 9to5Mac.com reports that the Gizmodo Web site will unveil Microsoft's "Tablet concept" Wednesday, although the software giant has not yet responded to TheStreet's request for comment.

"We've seen some bits and we have to say that we are seriously impressed by the work done at Redmond," wrote 9to5Mac.com, without revealing specific details.

Tablets, which are portable, touch-screen computers, are big news at the moment, thanks largely to Apple's eagerly anticipated entry into the space. The blogosphere has been rife with Apple tablet talk for months, and a device is expected to debut sometime in the early 2010.

Apple, true to form, is playing its cards close to its chest, although a number of Taiwanese companies are already said to be providing components for the device.

There had been some chatter that the Tablet could make its debut at Apple's recent San Francisco event, although this proved to be baseless. Variously described as a giant iPhone, iPod Touch or even an e-book reader, Apple's Tablet has certainly fired the imagination of the company's many zealots but it is still unclear where Steve Jobs will target the technology.

The Tablet space has already proved problematic for the likes of Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) and Toshiba, so Apple and Microsoft will need to carefully position their respective devices, if, and when, they are launched.

Shares of Microsoft closed Friday at $25.77, up 47 cents, or 1.9%. It gained another 5 cents in after-hours trading.

Written by James Rogers in New York

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