Microsoft will announce its own tablet next week at an event in Los Angeles, according to reports, taking a page from Apple's playbook.
If true, this is not the typical Microsoft business model; usually it leaves device announcements to device makers. The PC industry is the classic example of this.
Microsoft reportedly concluded that it must have its own tablet and is involved in the hardware design too. The Wrap reported it is a "Microsoft-manufactured tablet," that would "put the company in direct competition with giant rival Apple."
Indeed, if true, it would. Apple designs both the software and hardware and therefore is able to achieve a level of quality control over a product that often eludes Microsoft and its hardware partners.
A Microsoft tablet has the potential to rankle Windows device makers, too. Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Lenovo, Toshiba,and a long list of other PC makers are working on scores of Window 8 and Windows RT tablets and hybrids. Many are likely to debut when Microsoft release Windows 8 later this year.
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Microsoft declined to comment.