A decade ago Bill Gates, founder and former chief executive of Microsoft, presented a new class of computing to the world: a tablet PC that offered a fully functional computer with the “intuitive aspects of pencil and paper.” Since then, Microsoft has struggled to gain traction with a slate-like device, yet each year the company announces new products, software or operating systems that try to promote a world of Windows-based slate computers. Next month, at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Microsoft will give it another try, presenting a slew of new slates that it hopes will offer some competition...

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    staff and wire services reports