Phones Review

In-house Microsoft Windows 8 /RT tablet could be Monday’s big deal

Under: Tablet PC
By:Debbie Turner | June 15th, 2012

There’s a certain amount of excitement in the tech world at the moment following news of a Microsoft event due to take place on Monday. The focus of the event is so far a mystery but rumor and conjecture has it that a Microsoft Windows tablet could be on the way, an in-house tablet running Windows 8, Windows RT or even both models.

We first heard the news of the Microsoft press event yesterday with the event taking place on Monday June 18 and all we really know so far is that Microsoft is touting a “major Microsoft announcement.” We’ve been giving readers plenty of news about upcoming Windows 8 tablets from other manufacturers such as Acer, Nokia and Dell but now it seems that Microsoft could have intentions to compete with other tablets such as Apple’s iPad by taking on the competition head-on.

Speculation concerns a new Microsoft-branded slate running Windows 8 or ARM-optimized Windows RT or possibly variants for each and the news came to us from Engadget, sourced from The Wrap. Quite how outside manufacturers will take this news is in question but we can imagine a lot of dissatisfied companies out there, especially those who have already set out their intentions to build Windows 8 or Windows RT tablets. For those of you unsure of the differentiation between Windows 8 and Windows RT, RT is a Windows 8 version designed to run on ARM processors.

Although on the face of it an in-house Microsoft Windows tablet makes sense, a move such as this is bound to upset the Microsoft ecosystem with other major producers feeling they’re being pushed out, something that could surely backfire on Microsoft? That said we should remember that none of this is yet confirmed, at least before Monday, and that these rumors originate with an insider “with knowledge of the company.” Nevertheless this news is being widely reported by major tech sites and so anything seems possible.

What we do know is that Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer has been talking about ARM chip technology for some time. In another twist, The Verge, sourced from ZDNet, reports that rather than taking on Apple’s iPad, Microsoft could have a lower target in its sights, the popular Amazon Kindle Fire. One factor that might indicate this includes a deal between Microsoft and Barnes and Noble of Nook Reader fame. The deal contained numerous references to Windows 8 and also a “Microsoft Reader” mention and so it could be that a 7-inch Windows Phone-variant tablet would make more sense. This would also be less likely to offend outside manufacturers so is certainly another possibility to consider.

It’s all rather intriguing then and we’ll certainly be following the event on Monday and will bring further news as we hear it. We’d like to hear what you think about this. Do you think a Microsoft-branded Windows 8 or Windows RT tablet is a real possibility? Maybe you feel a 7-inch Kindle Fire opponent is a more likely prospect? Let us know with your comments.

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