Ever since Apple launched the iPad, competitors have been chasing the tablet's runaway success. Though some have come close (Samsung's Galaxy Tab, for example), no one has matched the popularity of the iPad yet. However, it seems Microsoft and Intel are not only hoping to achieve the same success but knock Apple down a peg or two in the process.
Digitimes reports that Microsoft and Intel are hoping that their Windows 8 offerings will be enough to take on the iPad and bring its market share from 70 percent to below 50 percent. The news outlet cites Taiwan-based ODMs in reporting that Microsoft and Intel are working closely with first-tier vendors developing new Windows 8 tablet PCs to achieve this goal. Digitimes' sources say Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Lenovo, Acer, Asustek Computer and Toshiba will launch a collective 32 Windows 8 tablets by the end of the year. Wintel tablet makers are apparently looking to undercut the iPad when it comes to price and several will have offerings in the sub-$300 category.
With as many as 32 devices (and some of them quite cheap by the sounds of things), Microsoft and Intel's vision of taking over the tablet market doesn't sound that crazy. However, it will rely on Windows 8 and its ability to bring a seamless tablet UI and experience to these devices. It's thought Windows 8 will reach general availability in October of this year, and tablet manufacturers are expected to start launching Windows 8 slates as soon as it becomes available.