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Rumor: Microsoft Revealing Its Own Tablet Monday

There's talk that Microsoft will reveal plans to launch its own Windows 8 / Windows RT tablet at a press event in Los Angeles on Monday while discussing its tablet strategy.

In addition to working with tablet partners, the company wants to tackle Apple's iPad by taking a direct approach. Inside sources claim Microsoft concluded that it needs its own tablet, designed from scratch by the Redmond company. That means it will have control over all aspects of the device including hardware and additional software. The tablet may even be offered in both x86 and ARM-based varieties.

Now here's the kicker: Both AllThingsD and The Wrap have heard that Microsoft will manufacture the tablet itself rather than farm it out to tablet partners as Google has done with its Nexus-branded Android tablets. This is an interesting approach given that Microsoft makes most of its money selling Windows and Office while depending on PC makers like Dell, HP, Acer and Lenovo to provide the hardware platforms.

But Mary Jo Foley of ZDNet suspects the tablet may be more in line of a Kindle Fire rival than an iPad rival. This theory stems from hints made by Microsoft "brass" over the past year that the company expects to launch some kind of Metro-centric reader in the near future. That said, it makes more sense for Microsoft to handle a 7-inch tablet while leaving partners to develop the larger, more robust versions.

Of course, Apple is slated to release its own 7-inch iPad Mini later this year. We also have Google's army of Nexus tablets arriving soon, starting with the 7-inch model by Asus next week. Amazon is also gearing up to release its next Kindle Fire before the holidays in addition to revamped models of its Kindle eReader line. Microsoft probably doesn't plan on sitting this one out.

There's speculation that the tablet will be based on an ARM SoC (Tegra 3?) and sport Windows RT. Nokia might actually be the manufacturer of choice, and Barnes & Noble may serve as the primary eBook source. It would still be labeled as a Microsoft tablet just as the Xbox 360 is a Microsoft console even through the company technically doesn't manufacture the entertainment system.

Everything written here is mere speculation for now. Microsoft could very well make a Windows Phone 8 announcement on Monday instead, and/or a deal with Nokia to bring the prices down even lower. Guess we'll see in three days.

  • kawininjazx
    Tablets everywhere!
  • Netherscourge
    An x86 tablet?

    I'm listening... Continue please.
  • john_4
    Good luck with that MS.
  • thearm
    An MS tablet is what I'm waiting for. The iPad I have is useless (it was given to me) unless you play a lot of games.
  • john_4
    thearmAn MS tablet is what I'm waiting for. The iPad I have is useless (it was given to me) unless you play a lot of games.Let me guess troll, your going to run a fortune 500 company with your Microbloat tablet or save the world. Troll alert for this hack.
  • CaedenV
    Something tells me that MS will either not charge themselves for the OS, and thus violate some anti competition clause with their partners, or else take the other extreme and charge themselves retail price for their own OS and price their own tablet out of the market :)

    For tablets it is x86 or nothing. A cheap Atom tablet may not run my desktop applications well, but I would rather them run slowly than not at all.

    ... anyone see the Anandtech review of the Acer W700? Now that is something to get excited about :D
  • Oh lord, iPad mini? ....You iPod Touch? Are they taking a step back here? I'm excited to see the new products from MS and Asus.....Tablets all over the place
  • dalethepcman
    john_4Let me guess troll, your going to run a fortune 500 company with your Microbloat tablet or save the world. Troll alert for this hack.
    The iPad is essentially useless in small and medium sized buisnesses. Unless you have a cloud infrastructure to deliver real applications to the iPad (a la Xen Desktop) the iPad is reduced to a media consumption device / toy.

    Setup a local exchange client then attach to a .pst, work on an access database, add a network printer, then enable network sharing and backups. When the user has problems ask their IT department to remote in and help out. Most of these are not possible on an iPad, and the ones that are possible are a pain in the ass to setup and administer.

    So I ask you who's trolling whom?
  • eddieroolz
    This has been said over and over, but each time it never materialized. Microsoft did not build its own PC, it did not build its own phone and it will most likely not build its own tablet.
  • slabbo
    I heard MS's tablet doesn't have a home button, but one that says "Ctrl Alt Delete"


    on a serious note are there any apps for it?