It looks like Acer, for one, may not have any excuses for much longer.  According to several Australian news sources (1, 2 subscription required, 3), Bill Gates himself - at a press conference in Sydney, Australia - announced that pricing for Windows XP Tablet PC Edition, which has been claimed by Acer and thoroughly covered in the news media as being the source of device manufacturers' woes with sales of devices based on the platform, will drop to the same level as the base Windows XP Professional operating system of which the Tablet OS is a superset.