Steve Ballmer has re-iterated what he stated during his keynote at Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference - that Windows based tablets are a priority for his company and that we should be seeing some devices in the market before the year is up.

"They'll be shipping as soon as they are ready", he said. "It is job one urgency. No one is sleeping at the switch".

Ballmer was keen to point out that any Windows tablets would not be running a lite or mobile version of Windows 7 and the chips on board would be Intel rather than ARM. "We're coming full guns", he said. "The operating system is called Windows".

The Microsoft chief also stated that next year there would be a new range of tablets hitting as well, as a result of Intel's Oak Trail processors, which will be more battery friendly for a tablet.

With Windows on board, Ballmer said it would be easy for users to print stuff if they wanted to - a sly dig at Apple if ever we've seen one.

The CEO did concede though, that the boys from Cupertino had done a good job in terms of sales with the iPad. "They've sold certainly more than I'd like them to have sold", he admitted.

Are you excited by Windows 7 tablets? Or are you a full-fledged fanboy who only has eyes for his iPad? Or maybe you're waiting for the big Android devices to drop? Let us know your tablet-tales using the comments below.