Even though Microsoft's public stance, when asked about the impact of Apple's slate is "iPad? What iPad?", the Redmondians are preparing the company's partners for battle in 2011.
Microsoft is making available to its reseller partners marketing collateral to help them defend against the iPad's encroachment into the enterprise market. I had a chance to check out a PowerPoint dated December 2010 on "Microsoft Commercial Slate PCs" that the company is offering to its partners to help them explain Microsoft's slate strategy to business users.
The PowerPoint does, however, show how the Softies are encouraging partners to position slates and tablets running Windows 7 vs. the iPad. There are suggestions in the deck for how to sell to business users who alredy have committed to the iPad, as well as to ones who haven't yet done so.