http://s.wsj.net/media/swf/microPlayer.swf

Another WSJ report from Yukari Iwatani Kane gives more of a background on this tablet and Apple in general than any other story in recent memory.  The only way to gather it all in was to put it in bullet points below:

  • Steve Jobs is betting he can reshape  businesses like textbooks, newspapers and television much the way his iPod revamped the music industry.
  • In developing the device, Apple focused on the role the gadget could play in homes and in classroom
  • The tablet will come with a virtual keyboard
  • New York Times Chairman Arthur Sulzberger declined to comment in an interview Wednesday on its involvement in the new device except to say, “stay tuned.”
  • Electronic Arts is working on a game, to show off on the device possible at the show on the 27th.
  • Mr. Jobs is “supportive of the old guard and [he] looks to help them by giving them new forms of distribution
  • Apple was in serious discussions with Microsoft Corp. to incorporate its Bing search engine into the iPhone as the default search and map technologies
  • The company was discussing with the New York Times how it could charge for news through iTunes [UGH]
  • Apple has experimented with the ability to leave virtual sticky notes on the device and for the gadget to automatically recognize individuals via a built-in camera. It’s unclear whether these features will be included at launch.
  • In October, Apple sent representatives to the Frankfurt Book Fair, the industry’s largest trade fair.
  • Apple pitched media companies on a “best of TV” subscription service to television networks under which customers would pay a monthly fee for on-demand access TV content.
  • At a meeting in New York with one network in October, an Apple executive said the company was specifically looking to access four to six shows per channel.
  • Apple has also been planning a revamp of its iTunes music service by creating a Web-based version of it that could launch as soon as June, say people familiar with the matter. Tentatively called iTunes.com, the service would allow customers to buy music without going through the specialized iTunes program on computers and iPhones.
  • Apple plans to populate as many Web sites as possible with ‘buy’ buttons, integrating iTunes transactions into activities like listening to Internet radio and surfing review Web sites.
  • In November, Apple hired Tracy Augustine, a former executive at textbook publishers Cengage Learning Inc. and Pearson Education Inc., as the director of worldwide education. Ms. Augustine is responsible for “driving global strategy and revenue for the education online store for students,” according to her LinkedIn description. Ms. Augustine didn’t respond to a request for comment.

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