Could we see a Microsoft-branded tablet next year?

In the wake of last week’s Windows 8 demos, it’s pretty clear Microsoft’s new operating system will power a whole host of new tablet devices when it comes out next year. Could Microsoft decide to compete head-on with the tablet makers to whom it sells the OS? Yes, according to DigiTimes, which says the company is thinking about introducing its own, all-Microsoft tablet in late 2012.

The Microsoft-branded device would reportedly feature hardware from Texas Instruments and would be produced “with cooperation” from Taiwan hardware makers. On the branding front, word is that we can expect something similar to what Microsoft already did with the Xbox, Zune, and Kin phones. Pointing to the relatively unsuccessful performance of the latter two devices, DigiTimes notes that Microsoft will proceed into the tablet hardware world with a “low profile.”

I don’t think this story is all that implausible. Microsoft pretty clearly has a cohesive vision for what it wants to do in the tablet world—hence the complaints from hardware makers like Acer about it being too involved. That firm’s CEO said last month that Microsoft is “really controlling the whole thing” and folks on the hardware side “all feel it’s very troublesome.”

Perhaps a Microsoft-branded line of Windows 8 slates would end up like Google’s Nexus phones: relatively low-key products that serve to crystallize the software maker’s vision and maybe serve as a benchmark for other devices in the category.

Comments closed
    • Arclight
    • 8 years ago

    Right now i think it’s very plausible after seing those shocking demos of Windows 8. If you ask me that’s not the kind of OS i was expecting from them.

    It just looks like a desperate atempt of meeting the needs of teens, so they don’t notice the difference when they switch from an iphone to a desktop PC….

    BTW are they still rocking DirectX 11 with W8? If so i’m OK with it cause i just bought a brand new Dx 11 card and it’s not like new games are developed with Dx 11 in mind, more like Dx 9.0c

      • Coran Fixx
      • 8 years ago

      I completely agree, that Win 8 demo was shocking to me too.

      I wonder if they looked at the Apple and Android tablet sales and started to jump out the windows (pun mostly not intended)

    • axeman
    • 8 years ago

    In the wake of last week’s Windows 8 demos, it’s pretty clear Microsoft’s new operating system will just slap Windows Phone 7 on the desktop. Apple proved that a tablet with an operating system that was already designed for a touch interface might actually be something people want, instead of fighting with a stylus and squinting at tiny fonts and widgets, which Microsoft couldn’t figure out for, oh around 10 years. In fact, they thought people wanted to stab around at tiny widgets on a even tinier screen for a phone too, so no surprise there. Sorry, Windows 8 deserves to rot in hell with Pocket PC.

    FTFY

    • moozoo
    • 8 years ago

    >They are demoing windows 8 right now with Tegra, yet they are going to go with TI for hardware?

    Agree
    I think it would make more sense to buy Nvidia…
    1) They would have similar resources as Apple has designing its A5 etc chipsets
    2) They have some kind of stock buy out arrangement with Nvidia
    3) They would have leverage into the HPC world and could boost Windows HPC Sales
    4) Nvidia’s Parallel Nsight 2.0 fits in well with Visual Studio.
    5) They would also have chipsets for future consoles and phones.

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 8 years ago

    You mean a me-too, also-run product from Microsoft that’s a day late and a buck short? That doesn’t sound like their MO at all…

    /sarcasm thick enough to nauseate David Spade.

      • axeman
      • 8 years ago

      Actually, the other day I was trying to think of a Microsoft product that didn’t qualify as that. Their very first software (a BASIC interpreter) was derivative work. I ‘ve yet to find one. Even Windows’ unsual (as opposed to everyone else) file system conventions are the result of knocking off CP/M. In some (many) cases, the product ends up being fairly good, or even better than the competition, but they have the imagination of, well, I can’t think of something because I work at Microsoft. But oh no, free software stifles “innovation”, /sarcasm thick enough to nauseate David Spade.

      disclaimer: I do not actually work at Microsoft

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 8 years ago

    I think I’d be MORE interested in a MS tablet that ran Windows 8 than anyone else who made a Windows 8 tablet. At least I’d know it would work with the OS really well. I’m just not sure MS is going to have the support they need.

    If they did it right, they could use a MS-branded tablet to gain Wii U/PSP Vita to PS3 connection to a tablet while at the same time giving the whole idea of Windows 8 running a tablet a real example in the world for people to go, “Hai, I liek that.”

    However, MS is no Apple or Google. Everything they touch lately turns to crap. Zune, Zune HD, Kin, WP7, even Skype somehow started bundling adware immediately after being bought out. And somehow they managed to rob WHS of all its value after only a release or two, just when people were starting to warm to it. I’d also argue that Kinect is a disaster waiting to happen when people realize how few games they’ll want to buy for it, but at least with that, MS is making a profit off each Kinect sold so it’s not a total loss. The 360 Slim did well with all those people who had 360’s that died out of warranty and who had huge game libraries, but is THAT success or just fleecing customers?

    I think Windows 7 is probably the best thing they’ve come out with in many, many years, but with all that was CUT from Vista, you’d think they could have done what little they did in Win 7 when they made Vista instead of waiting so long to trim down its ridiculous system requirements.

    • tviceman
    • 8 years ago

    They are demoing windows 8 right now with Tegra, yet they are going to go with TI for hardware?

      • mutarasector
      • 8 years ago

      Doesn’t make sense to me either now that M$ has some skin in the game w/regard to Nvidia.

        • Palek
        • 8 years ago

        The answer may lie in the fact that Microsoft has been burnt in the past when they partnered with nVidia. Anybody remember the nasty quarrel over Xbox chipset pricing, and the subsequent highway robbery on nVidia’s part through licensing their IP for the Xbox 360 to enable backwards compatibility for Xbox games?

        [url<]http://news.cnet.com/Nvidia,-Microsoft-settle-Xbox-spat/2100-1006_3-983593.html[/url<] [url<]http://www.pcreview.co.uk/forums/ms-pay-nvidia-allowing-xbox-360-emulate-xbox-games-t1999979.html[/url<] I don't think Microsoft likes nVidia very much, and the sole reason they were showing Windows 8 on Tegra is probably that turn-key systems built on Tegra were readily available at demo time. Make no mistake, Microsoft will dump nVidia as soon as systems built on competing SoCs are production-ready. [EDIT] Oh, and M$ = [url<]http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2002/7/22/[/url<]

    • indeego
    • 8 years ago

    Hopefully Microsoft adopts a longer support model (security) than iPhones abysmal record. We don’t even know when support for ipad1’s will end.

      • Corrado
      • 8 years ago

      3+ years OS support for a phone isn’t that bad. Try getting an official update for the Motorola Droid now. It was launched in Oct 2009, and the last update for it was < 1 year later in August of 2010, and there will be no further updates to it.

      In contrast, the 3GS was released in June 2009, a full 4 months before the Droid, and will still receive an official update in Sept to iOS5, and presumably all point releases for the year or whatever after until 6 comes out. That will be 3+ years of support.

      iPad1 will get iOS5 and all point releases. This should bring it to just shy of 3 years of official OS support.

        • indeego
        • 8 years ago

        ? Droid was updated [url=http://androidcommunity.com/motorola-droid-ota-update-to-frg83g-starting-today-breaking-news-20110309/<]just this year.[/url<] I see nothing saying Droid will not be getting further security-based updates in the future. You also can root it quite easily, has much broader browser support than iPhones. Apple was still selling the 3G up until recently, and the phone no longer gets security updates. There was no warning/announcement that this would occur.

          • Corrado
          • 8 years ago

          My bad on the Droid updates. It was ANNOUNCED in August of 2010, and released in 2011. However, this is a quote:

          “By all appearances, it seems that 2.2 is the last official update provided by Motorola for the original Droid.” Granted its from the Wikipedia article.
          If we’re talking US only, thats ~ 2.5 years of support. Same as Apple. And you can jailbreak and install security fixes on a 3G as well. The PDF exploit was patched by the jailbreak community before it was patched by Apple. Resorting to 3rd party support is not exactly something I’m wont to do.

          As far as the 3G, it was discontinued over a year ago. Official support ended on March 11 of this year, with the release of 4.3. Thats still just shy of 3 years of support.

          • jstern
          • 8 years ago

          Thanks for the link. I updated my phone. Unfortunately I prefer the way it was, so hopefully it can be uninstalled.

            • indeego
            • 8 years ago

            What link? This should have been pushed to your phone many months ago.

        • green
        • 8 years ago

        … have you tried running ios4.2 on a 3gs?
        sure it’s supported. but given the performance it’s more like ‘fu. upgrade’ support
        now ios5 may bring optimisation to make it run faster
        but given apple’s usual 2 year cycles for hardware i’m pretty sure they’re looking to shift people off 3gs as soon as they’re able

          • Corrado
          • 8 years ago

          My wife had 4.3 on her 3GS and had zero complaints. I know 4.0 on the 3G was awful though.

            • indeego
            • 8 years ago

            And 5 will likely be awful on the 3GS. And on and on.

    • jstern
    • 8 years ago

    If no other company was buying into Windows 8 tablets, then if I headed Microsoft, then perhaps I would.

    • Corrado
    • 8 years ago

    Why wouldn’t they use Nokia to make them instead of Taiwanese partners?

      • xtalentx
      • 8 years ago

      Because Microsoft isn’t tied to any one hardware vendor.

        • Corrado
        • 8 years ago

        Don’t they, um, OWN Nokia now? That makes them tied to a hardware vendor.

        EDIT: Hmmmm seems that was merely a rumor floating around that turned out to be false.

          • NeelyCam
          • 8 years ago

          Dude, pay attention.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This