While speaking with Reuters on Friday, Dell's chief commercial officer Steve Felice said the tablet market was still wide open despite Apple's apparent dominance. But the battle against the reigning Cupertino champ won't be won using Google's Android OS as seen with the now-ditched Streak tablets. It will be accomplished by using Microsoft's touchy new OS slated to arrive later this year: Windows 8.
"We're very encouraged by the touch capability we are seeing in the beta versions of Windows 8," Felice said in an interview in London. "We have a roadmap for tablets that we haven't announced yet. You'll see some announcements... for the back half of the year. We don't think that this market is closed off in any way."
Felice said that Dell will have the advantage over Apple thanks to its relationships with businesses on a global scale. iPads and iPhones are reportedly a headache for Windows-based IT departments because they obviously operate on a different system. However, a consumer's Windows-based tablet -- and even a Windows Phone 7/8 smartphone -- from home is much easier to integrate into the workplace.
"On the commercial side there are a lot of concerns about security, interoperability, systems and device management, and I think Dell is in the best position to meet those," Felice said.
Felice pointed out that a lot of compromises are being made when consumers leave their desktops and take their iPad while out of the office, especially when it comes to processing power and ease of typing. Yet he is admittedly encouraged by the current beta versions of Windows 8, indicating that there may not be the same compromises with a Windows 8 tablet provided by Dell. Moving from desktop to tablet to desktop should also be incredibly easy thanks to the shared Windows 8 environment.
During the interview Felice also briefly mentioned the company's just-released XPS 13 ultrabook, saying that demand has been excellent since the product was launched just a week ago. "It is a fantastic product and shows our commitment to the PC space. We like the PC space. We are extremely committed to it."
Dell may also return to the tablet sector, he said.