Microsoft reportedly considering its own-branded Windows 8 tablet

By Tom Warren, on 8th Jun 11 11:40 am with 35 Comments

Windows 8 tablets preview

Microsoft may be considering its own-branded Windows 8 tablet, according to reports.

The software giant is considering the move to counter balance Apple’s iOS and iPad market share. A report from DigiTimes on Wednesday suggests that the company is working with Texas Instruments and Taiwan-based OEMs to create a Microsoft branded Windows 8 PC. DigiTimes suggests that Microsoft may launch the tablet by the end of 2012.

The software giant held a technical preview at Computex recently to demonstrate Windows 8 to hardware partners. Mike Angiulo, corporate vice president of Windows Planning, Hardware and PC Ecosystem at Microsoft, demonstrated Windows 8 on a variety of tablets. Angiulo showed how Windows 8 works across x86 and ARM-based chips. Microsoft previously introduced a technology preview of its Windows ARM support by showing off an early build of Windows 8 at CES 2011. Microsoft is partnering with ARM-based manufactures NVIDIA, Qualcomm and Texas Instruments to produce new Tablet devices.

DigiTime’s report, if accurate, would explain some recent Taiwan based PC manufacturers complaints, aimed at Microsoft. The software giant has reportedly talked with Nvidia, Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, Intel and AMD to seek their participation in a special Integrated Development Program for Windows 8. However, Taiwan-based PC manufacturers, some with long-term partnerships with Microsoft, have complained that they have been excluded from the special development program. The companies have complained to the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) in Taiwan to seek government involvement.

Microsoft revealed its new Windows 8 user interface during the All Things Digital D9 conference recently. Windows chief Steven Sinofsky detailed the company’s future plans for Windows and revealed that the firm plans to speak more about Windows 8 at the BUILD conference in September. Windows 8 includes a new user interface which takes elements from the company’s Windows Phone 7 software. Microsoft will allow users to launch apps from a tile-based start screen, which replaces the traditional Windows Start menu. Applications include live tile notifications and fluid, natural switching between applications. Microsoft has also built in the ability to snap and resize an application to the side of the screen and multitask outside of the new touch UI. The new applications will be web powered apps built using HTML5 and JavaScript, with full access to the power of the PC. Microsoft is positioning Internet Explorer 10 at the heart of the Windows 8 app experience.

  • Eingoluq

    Bring it!

    • Npgmbr

      “Bring it”…….a lot sooner than late 2012.

    • Npgmbr

      “Bring it”…….a lot sooner than late 2012.

  • dEuZ

    Brand new name or not, they need to improve on their marketing. They have already came up with some good stuff, but it didn’t well received by the public because the public weren’t aware of the benefits.

    • Carlos Ribeiro da Fonseca

      Or that it even exists…
      Just look at all the comparisons between iCloud and SkyDrive that don’t even mention Mesh…

    • Matthewmsft

      EXACTLY. where’s Mesh in this whole iCloud thing? Microsoft’s had Mesh for what, 4 years?

    • Pacific

      What are you talking about?  Xbox 360, Kinect are doing VERY well. 
      Windows Phone 7 are in the hand of carriers.  Ever tried to go to a phone store and the sales reps trying to talk you out of buying Windows Phone 7 and pushing you to buy Android or iPhone instead.  Happens a lot!    Carriers need to educate their workers NOT to be bias in one OS, and their job are to sell phones.  NOT to push customers into a phone that they or their friends have.  MOST of the reps DO NOT know how to operate the Windows Phone 7.  Also, phone stores SHOULD have a model phone with all the apps(paid or unpaid) apps installed on the demo phones, so when a customer or sales rep use it to demonstrate the UI and apps integration to the potential buyers.  Please don’t blame it on MS.

      Verizon did a terrible job at marketing KIN *and MS* , and priced the data/phone contract so high that people aren’t willing to pay for that kind of service.  THAT is why KIN was an eye opener for MS , and I hope they learned their lesson and make better products, better marketing, better working relationship with carriers.

    • Anonymous

      THe KIN was also a terrible idea.

    • Guest

      Do you ever have a positive or constructive comment? Just sayin…

    • Anonymous

      Yes I have. Just sayin… 

    • Anonymous

      THe KIN was also a terrible idea.

  • Anonymous

    this would be simply amazing, millions of windows fans globally!!, please do it

  • the-hq

    “End of 2012″ sounds more like most of the market will be taken by Apple+Android by then…

    • Sanat Gersappa

      Maybe the Mayans were right :-)

  • Sebastian Gorgon

    Was going to say “game on with ipad” but erm, you know… 

  • Jimmy Fallon

    They really are about as far back as possible with this time frame, such a shame.

    • Joe05

      Not really, the tablet market is tiny, Android isn’t making a dent and the ipad is the only one doing well. Microsoft is not coming out with a Windows version of the ipad, they have a different idea and one that will become very apparent in just a few short months.

  • sarkis chamelian

    If you show something, it should be available the following month not year, second, by the time this comes out people want to see something newer….releasing the product next year allows google to increase its market share and join apple.

    Anyway, I’m still getting my Windows 8 . . . . just have to wait a year ….sigh :(

    • GRS_DEV

      I believe the article meant to say that the “MS branded tablet” if true would be expected to be released by end of 2012 not Windows 8 itself in tablet mode.

      All indications are pointing to a Win 8 tablet on the market by end of 2011 early 2012 (around 6 months). The initial wave most likely would be produced by the current gang of OEMs such as Dell, HP, Asus, etc.

    • Tim

      Problem is Microsoft don’t ship the devices the manufacturers do. For the manufacturers to build the devices Microsoft has to announce their next version of Windows to them, this is all they have done so far. But this is inevitably going to be made public so we hear about it a year before it will go on sale.

  • Shiro

    Geez, this is inexcusable. Someone should be fired. Why the heck doesn’t Microsoft had a pad on the market right now?  Considering they have had years of Windows mobile phone and PDA experience. This is the same problem with releasing the Win 7 phone. Microsoft is always the last one to the party.  It is damn frustrating. 

    • Joe05

      Ok…but outside of the ipad what other tablet is burning up the sales charts? the answer is…None.
      The tablet market is nacent at this point and Microsoft isn’t coming late to market with an ipad competitor.

      Windows 8 is going to be something different than just another wanna be ipad ala Android tablets, there are plenty of little hints from Microsoft itself, Sinofsky, Julie Larson and Steve Balmer.

      A lot of tech pundits will be eating crow in the fall, have patience.

  • Shiro

    Geez, this is inexcusable. Someone should be fired. Why the heck doesn’t Microsoft had a pad on the market right now?  Considering they have had years of Windows mobile phone and PDA experience. This is the same problem with releasing the Win 7 phone. Microsoft is always the last one to the party.  It is damn frustrating. 

  • Aaron

    Try to keep in mind they are trying to keep the same OS on tablets and desktops.  Would you have expected Windows 8 to be available on desktops before 2012?  In the end I don’t know if it’s the right strategy for them, especially since it gives another year to the competition.  But man, if they can actually pull it off and have the same great UI that works well on both tablet and desktop, they will win.  2012 will be a turning point for Microsoft (for better or worse)

  • Dominic Blakey

    I think this is such a better move, but my word…. End of 2012! They will be too late! They need one atleast at the start of 2012 to Mid 2012!

  • Anonymous

    make the courier instead and leave this to the other OEMs to compete 

    • Matthewmsft

      lol yea :) courier was awesome

  • Carlos Ribeiro da Fonseca

    I like it!
    If its true lets hope its a first step. Microsoft should also make “reference” Windows PCs and “reference” Windows Phones.
    Just look at Google with Android. There are, give or take a million, a gazzillion Android phones, but Google sells the “reference” Google branded Nexus One and Nexus S.

    • Tom

      Yes!  Finally!

      With a reference platform out, Microsoft Windows will finally be able to stand on its own, without the meddling of OEM “partners.”  The difference between the true Windows experience, and Windows + craplets, will be so stark that even the tech press will be able to notice it.

      Never mind tablets — get a netbook out, too.  When a properly-configured netbook runs faster than a machine with 3x the specifications, it will show in no uncertain terms that Windows is not what’s wrong with the PC experience.

    • Stoffel

      Forgot what the program is called but i’m sure MS started a program like this for PC’s.
      They don’t make the PC but they install all the software and tweak it so you have the real Windows experience without all the bloatware right out of the box.

  • Chinonso

    Thats too far

  • m_el

    Dell said it was coming out with a Windows 8 tablet in the 4th quarter of this year

  • PHuZZy

    This isnt JUST a Tablet OS, it’s THE OS for Desktop PCs, Laptop PCs and Slate PCs (with everything in between)
    I think it looks really good. and this is only the 1st taste of it all.. who knows what else it has in store for the Billions of Windows Users.

  • Guest

    All the major OEMs are already heding their bets or adopting a non-MS tablet OS offering. So now MS is considering competing against them,  thereby alienating them further and speeding up their migration  away not just from Windows on tablets, but probably also on PCs? Sounds pretty f’n stupid. 

    If the MS/OEM relationship is collapsing as quickly as it appears to be, MS may have no choice but to start going direct. But it’s not a skill set they’ve demonstrated. This isn’t a game console market that refreshes the hardware every few years. Tablets are pure consumer devices that need constant new models and massive advertising. MS is awful at both; Zune being a prime example. And even if they succeeded with tablets, they’d start losing out on the PC end as OEMs reacted and started pushing Android or Web OS even harder.

    They need to shelve this idea asap and fire whoever came up with it. They should approach the major OEMs and promise one a sweetheart deal in exchange for the serious commitment required. When the others see that OEM winning, they’ll quickly come on board.

    The problem is HP’s obviously out now that they’ve gone WebOS. Dell appears to be out as well and completely dropped the ball on WP7. And Acer and Lenovo are both embracing Android in non trivial ways and making public statements about wanting to see MS and Intel’s grip lesson.  But since they’re #2 and #3, they’re the logical people to talk to.

    Or maybe MS should double down on talks with Nokia and try to get them to adopt it for tablets. They’re stuggling right now, but they used to know how to source, ship, refresh, and market hardware in ways MS and most others can never hope to match. Otherwise, maybe MS should just acknowledge what’s happening, take the additional market cap and revenue hit now while their results and balance sheet are still adequate, and buy HP. Then dump WebOS, or integrate the best parts, and compete against Apple direct to direct.

  • Tonious

    Too late to be relevant, if true, by then..yawn!