Re: Fact Check?
>Also, didn't MS come up with the tablet design years before Apple?
Arguably the production designers of 2001: Space Oddessy came up with the iPad design before MS or Apple even existed - though it carried an 'IBM' badge. As shown in the film, it is only used for watching telvision news ('content consumption'); 'real' computer work was done by speaking to the computer directly, or else ripping out its daughter boards. There may be earlier prior art in film or Science Fiction illustration - in literature, casual references by the likes of Asimov to 'pocket computers' are too vague.
MS had Win XP: Tablet Edition for years, but the devices were usually heavy and didn't last long on battery. Sony had some unusual WinXP.TE devices with keys on either side of a 9" screen - but hey, Sony did the colour CLIE running PalmOS, too.
Psion had the original NetBook - I can't remember it being touch screen, but it was an 'ultrabook' form factor long before its time.
The idea of a tablet has been around for ages, but Apple did it well - they even released a phone a few years beforehand in order to teach their users how to use it. They used ARM instead of Intel, and of course had control of both the OS and the silicon. Rewind further, and we have the Newton - which gave us ARM - though the Newton wasn't the first Newton-like device.
The Microsoft Courier was an interesting device - a dual-touchscreen clamshell device focused on collating and annotating content like a scrapbook. Since then, Sony released a spilt-screen clamshell Android tablet, but since it was sub-optimal for watching movies nobody bought it (I miss you, crazy Sony!)
Speaking purely as a consumer, it doesn't matter to me who did what first. It just matters who did what well. Doing something well usually involves judiciously balancing compromises.