theodp writes: In NASCAR, you can finish a race in the Top 3 by leading the whole way or by having spectacular crashes take out those ahead of you. The same may hold true for the tablet race, where Apple has led the whole way, but Microsoft could advance into 2nd or 3rd place as those once ahead of it crash and burn ($99 TouchPad, anyone?). 'Microsoft tablets based on Windows 8 won't be ready until next year,' notes SplatF's Dan Frommer. 'Unexpectedly, that might not be too late to matter.' In Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, the big race ends with all cars being wrecked and Formula I racer Girard and NASCAR driver Bobby running on foot to the finish line. Could we see something similar in 2012 between 'Jean Girard' Jobs and 'Ricky Bobby' Ballmer? Far-fetched as it may seem, Ars Technica's Peter Bright explains why the Windows 8 tablet invasion might work.