Microsoft to Launch Windows 8 Tablet?

By Pat Pilcher

Microsoft Corporate Vice President Steve Guggenheimer delivers a speech to introduce the Windows 8 systems during Computex in Taipei, Taiwan, Wednesday, June 6, 2012. Computex, the world's second larg
Microsoft Corporate Vice President Steve Guggenheimer delivers a speech to introduce the Windows 8 systems during Computex in Taipei, Taiwan, Wednesday, June 6, 2012. Computex, the world's second larg

The tech sector isn't without its own share of controversies, curiosities or rumours. To this end there's been a steady stream of speculation bubbling away around Microsoft, Windows 8, and some new hardware that is supposedly going to be launched in the US later today.

According to a story filed by the New York Times, Microsoft will be announcing their own tablet running Windows 8. The New York Times claims to have spoken to numerous "people in the know" and if these rumours do prove to be true, this will be the first time in Microsoft's 37 year existence that they'll have launched their own computing hardware.

This mightn't sound like terribly momentous news, but what makes it bigger than XXL are the potential ructions from their partners that could occur if this rumour does indeed prove to be true.

It all comes down to this: Much of Microsoft's bread and butter is derived from OEM partners (that is PC, tablet and other computing hardware makers who buy and install Windows and/or MS Office).

Should Microsoft actually launch a Microsoft branded tablet, these OEMs could technically end up competing with Microsoft.

This is arguably nothing new in terms of business practices as Google has been making its "Nexus" range of Android phones for quite a while. But assuming Microsoft does indeed launch its own Windows 8 powered tablet, it is likely to be sharply priced, which could in turn make the going just that much tougher for existing tablet and PC makers amidst already tough prevailing market conditions.

OEM partner quandaries aside, the biggest question in my mind however revolves around what Microsoft are likely to call a Windows 8 powered tablet (assuming it is indeed more than just rumour?).

We've already got an Xbox so perhaps an Xtablet? Either way, we'll find out today.

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