At the Comdex trade show in 2000, Bill Gates waxed poetic about the future of tablet computers. Prototype tablets running Microsoft software came out a year later. But Microsoft-based tablets never went mainstream, and so the company might be feeling kind of bad now that Apple is getting a lot of attention for its new iPad tablet computer.

Guest: Ina Fried, CNET News.com

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Two new consumer surveys shed light on what consumers want from the Apple tablet computer expected to be unveiled next week.

ChangeWave research talked with more than 3,000 consumers earlier this month, and found there is a “strong interest” in an Apple tablet, wtih four percent saying they are “very likely” and 14 percent saying they’re “somehwat likely” to buy one.

Retrevo.com, a consumer electronics buying guide site, surveyed 500 people, asking consumers what they’re willing to pay, and what features they need to see to make them pull the trigger.

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