A Microsoft-built, Windows 8 RT tablet will be introduced at a special event on Monday, according to Web-based rumors. The Redmond, Wash.-based technology giant has issued press invitations for an event on Monday afternoon in Los Angeles, at which a “major announcement” will be made.
The rumors are coming from several Microsoft-watchers, which are citing sources with knowledge of the company.
ARM, x86 Tablets
While Microsoft has had great success manufacturing its Xbox gaming console and its own Zune media player, it has largely left manufacturing computing devices to others. Previous tablets running Microsoft OS have been made by such hardware makers as HP and Samsung. If Microsoft does enter the tablet market with its own device, it will inevitably be seen as directly competing with the category leader, Apple.
Assuming a Microsoft-made tablet running the RT version of Windows 8 is released, it will utilize an ARM processor, since RT is designed to run on ARM hardware. Tablets made by various manufacturers and running regular Windows 8 are expected to be released later this year, based on x86 processors.
A key argument in favor of Microsoft releasing its own tablet is the same one that has helped Apple achieve its huge tablet market share — by making both hardware and software, the company can deliver better integration between the two. Google’s Android, by contrast, has taken the previous Microsoft approach of letting others create the devices, and this has contributed to complaints of platform fragmentation.
By making sure that the tablet’s software-hardware integration is solid, Microsoft would also be shoring up a major strategic emphasis behind Windows 8 — that, with this platform, IT departments can choose tablets, laptops, or desktops without having to support different operating systems.
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