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Microsoft tablets to be announced soon?

In yet another effort to step up its game in its competition with Apple, Microsoft is gearing up to release its very own tablet, some reports have suggested.

In the past, Microsoft used Windows to power tablets. But this time around, rather than relying on partners like Acer and Asus, Microsoft may decide to go solo and use an ODM. The tablet market, which is expected to multiply over the next few years, is apparently too big of a growth area to pass up.

Microsoft will hold a press event on 18 June, where it is expected the company's "major" announcement will be related to its new tablet strategy. Microsoft has apparently decided to integrate its software and hardware offerings to be able to better compete against Apple's iPad, which currently holds nearly 65 per cent of the global tablet market.

The soon-to-be-announced tablets are likely to be powered by ARM processors rather than traditional x86-based PC processors, and will be manufactured by a Microsoft ODM, according to reports.

It is so far unclear how the company will address the relationships it has with hardware manufacturers and how it will handle the licensing of its Windows RT OS for tablets produced by competitors.

Microsoft's foray into the smartphone arena seems poised to become a success, with Windows Phone's market share growing steadily, albeit slowly. But it's difficult to ignore the fate of the Zune, which failed when the company last tried to compete in Apple-dominated territory.

(ed: Google is also rumoured to sell its own-branded tablets manufactured by Asus. Also one needs to remember that Microsoft has an architectural license for ARM which, in theory means that it could even design chips. Oh and Microsoft does design the Xbox & accessories).

Source : All Things Digital