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Microsoft rumored making own Windows 8 tablet to fight iPad

updated 09:55 am EDT, Wed June 8, 2011

Microsoft Windows 8 tablet would use TI chip

Microsoft may be hoping to more directly challenge Apple with a self-branded Windows 8 tablet, part suppliers asserted in a rumor on Tuesday. The company would collaborate directly with TI, possibly using its 1.8GHz OMAP4470 chip, and brand it much the way the company has the Xbox 360 or Zune. The company was said by Digitimes to be keeping a "low profile," in part to give it the opportunity to scrap the project without much attention.

The developer is still thought to be pushing forward with its eventual Windows 8 design program, which will encourage chip makers to partner with just one PC designer for a tablet to get a tightly integrated design. Its own product would nonetheless be targeted for around late 2012, right as Windows 8 ships and many of the early adopters are doing the same.

It wasn't clear if other PC builders were aware before the leak that Microsoft might try to compete with them.

A self-developed PC would be a risky step for Microsoft and calls into question the accuracy of the rumor. While Microsoft had no reservations competing in the MP3 player space with the Zune, negating third-party hardware that had already been failing to compete with the iPod, a move into designing its own tablet PC would be challenging its core business. PC manufacturers aren't expected to react in the short term but would likely balk knowing that Microsoft would favor its own hardware in marketing Windows 8.

Apple's iPad may have still pushed Microsoft to make its own design. The tight link between iOS and the hardware has been credited to a well-received overall interface experience as well as strong performance and battery life. Most Windows tablets are using off-the-shelf components inside and usually have poor battery life and heavy designs.

The iPad has been a sore point for Microsoft. It had pushed Windows-based tablet PCs for eight years but, in nine months, had seen Apple outsell every Windows tablet ever made. Most have seen it as conscious rejections of desktop interfaces and pen-based computing and the cue Microsoft used to bring the heart of its Windows Phone 7 UI over to tablets.

By Electronista Staff


  1. climacs

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 2001


    oh the lulz

    The company was said by Digitimes to be keeping a "low profile," in part to give it the opportunity to scrap the project without much attention.

    well at least they have learned *something*. But yeah, this will not go down well with the PC makers... but surely they know by now that Microsoft is notorious for doing whatever the h*** they want, forget whatever they said yesterday.

  1. Mr. Strat

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Jan 2002



    Good thing I wasn't drinking something when I saw this, or I'd have spewed all over the computer.

    I can see it now...k**** and levers...and a paint job like the original Zune.

  1. beb

    Mac Elite

    Joined: Jan 2002



    It's like they go off at full speed on a tangent leaving a Windows logo shaped hole in the wall.


    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2009


    New Product for

    I guess M$ is going to develop the new tablet that will be ready for when it is released.

  1. Parky

    Mac Elite

    Joined: Oct 1999


    Late 2012

    Out in late 2012, we will all be getting ready for iPad 4 by then!

  1. Rezzz

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2006


    Of course..

    Of course they will release this. And it will not use Intel chips. I'm guessing it will be called the Office Pad. That is the feature they will tout above all others: Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, Excel. In order for Microsoft to survive, they must hold onto the business sector. They will do it with the last monopoly they posses that actually matters: Office.

  1. JTh

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2007


    I'll give credit

    Where credit is due. I'm no MS fanboi, but IMO, the Zune player - especially the more recent ones, were nice, solid pieces of hardware. I use a Microsoft keyboard for work (ergonomic and by far my favorite). Their old home networking equipment (long ago discontinued) wasn't even that bad. They realize that many, many people don't want to be presented with a ridiculous number of options and specs, they just want something simple. And likewise, many people want a solution customized to their needs.

    We'll see what they come up with (then I'll knock them :-) )

  1. The Vicar

    Junior Member

    Joined: Jul 2009


    And I'm sure...

    This won't have a chilling effect on other companies producing Windows tablets AT ALL. It's not like Microsoft has burned its partners when it begins to compete with them ever in the past, right? *cough*PlaysForSure*cough*

  1. loudpedal

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Oct 1999


    Business inroads

    While I'm forced to use a Dell at work, I'm seeing a lot more Apple hardware here (product development and manufacturing). The owner got an iPad and suddenly was told that I could connect my iPhone to the company network and sync up with Outlook. Now, a majority of the executive staff has iPads and I hear other iPhones ringing all over the place. Microsoft may be losing it's grip on the business sector (like RIM). I love going home and using my Macs.

    JTh, I too use a M$ mouse at home on my Mac. It's not that they're that bad but they don't really distinguish themselves either. They're just me-too devices. Apples latest mouse, now that's a real innovative product. I'll admit, I still hold a grudge for many of MS's past business practices. I just love to rag on them because of all of the PC people used to rag on me in the '80s and '90s.

  1. tightzeit

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2006



    this called the 'Courier'? Maybe the dual screen thingy isn't the go any more.

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