updated 08:25 am EST, Mon January 2, 2012
Acer and Lenovo trust Microsoft to W8 tablets
Acer and Lenovo are putting their faith in Intel-based Windows 8 tablets for the summer, part suppliers claimed Monday. The two, according to Digitimes, would depend on Intel's tablet-oriented Clover Trail Atom platform. No details existed for the tablets, although Clover Trail would help get thinness and battery life closer to ARM tablets like the iPad and some future Windows 8 models.
The two would follow promises of a conservative Samsung model and ASUS' expectations of its own Windows 8 tablet. Most of these tablets so far have been identified as Intel tablets, not ARM, suggesting that most don't yet have the confidence to switch fully to ARM.
If so, Microsoft may not see many of its initial tablet roster attempt to compete directly with Apple or Android supporters. It's believed Microsoft may drop the traditional desktop on ARM and, along with losing backwards compatibility with older apps by necessity, would leave many of these companies without the crutch of familiar software. Acer and Lenovo, like others, may want to lean on the familiar niche of enterprise users rather than push tablets at home.
A summer launch would narrow down the timing for Windows 8 itself and would underscore the possible risks for Microsoft. With many expecting an iPad 3 in March and a second wave of Android tablets, Microsoft may give as much as half a year's lead time for Apple and Google.