Microsoft readying own Windows 8 tablet?

Sources cited by Taiwan's DigiTimes say Redmond is thinking of unveiling its own Windows 8-branded tablet with help from TI and various Taiwanese component makers.

Windows 8 on a tablet.
Windows 8 on a tablet. Rafe Needleman/CNET

Microsoft may be thinking of hitting the market with its own Windows 8-branded tablet by the end of 2012, according to sources cited by Taiwan's DigiTimes.

If the rumor eventually holds true, the company would create the tablet by partnering with Texas Instruments and various Taiwanese equipment manufacturers to supply the hardware.

In response to CNET's request for comment on the matter, a Microsoft spokesperson said that "we have nothing more to share at this time."

The new tablet reportedly would borrow Microsoft's branding strategies from such products as the hugely successful Xbox 360, the lackluster Zune media player, and the very short-lived Kin smartphone.

Microsoft would move forward on the tablet using a "low profile" and would still work with other vendors to roll out their own Windows 8 tablets, according to the report. Though other vendors may be a bit miffed that Microsoft would launch its own branded tablet, the DigiTimes sources say that's not likely to have any impact on the folks in Redmod over the short term.

The computing giant has already stirred up some complaints. Last week, Acer's president and CEO criticized Microsoft for placing "troublesome" restrictions on Windows 8 tablet makers by limiting how many of them can receive chips from Intel, AMD, Texas Instruments, and the other companies providing processors for the new tablets.

Microsoft demoed its Windows 8 for tablets at last week's D9 conference, though tablets based on the new OS are not likely to start shipping until next year.

Updated 8:55am PST with comment from Microsoft.

 

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