Last week Microsoft announced the Surface Tablet, that is supposed to be a really decent rival for the iPad and Android slates out there. With Windows 8 coming this fall and the Surface, plus a new Android release announced today with the Nexus 7 tablet, the battery just got fierce in the tablet biz. And now Microsoft makes some predictions, saying that tablets will outsell desktop PCs in 2013.

Speaking at TechEd Europe in Amsterdam, Microsoft’s VP for Windows Web Services, Antoine Leblond said that Microsoft’s philosophy is based on touch interface, that will become the main means of input over the next years. That’s exactly what Apple was saying 4-5 years ago, but nobody believed them back then. Leblond also emphasized the benefits of the Metro UI and said that MS didn’t forget about laptop and desktop users, so you can rest easy. Metro works equally well on a desktop and tablet, according to the Microsoft official.

The interesting bit here is that there was an awkward moment at the event, when Leblond’s colleague tried to demonstrate touchpad gestures, like the double fingered scrolling and failed to do so. Other demos at the event included a locked down installation of Windows 8 on a Windows 7 PC, just by plugging in a USB drive. Pretty cool, right? And what about tablets passing desktops next year? Do you think it will happen at last?