Microsoft to take on the Apple tablet?

With the hype around Apple's near-certain upcoming tablet PC seemingly cooling off, our attention now turns to Microsoft--as the company is rumored to be preemptively working on its own Apple-tablet-killer.

With the hype around Apple's near-certain upcoming tablet PC seemingly cooling off, our attention now turns to Microsoft--as the company is rumored to be preemptively working on its own Apple-tablet killer.

ZDNet's Mary-Jo Foley reports that Microsoft plans to create a tablet, which is based in part on the technology behind the company's Surface project and has been developed under code names including "Oahu" and "Alchemy Ventures." In charge of the project--Chief Experience Officer J Allard, who was the main guy behind the Xbox brand for several years.

But don't look for it any time soon. Mary-Jo says she "wouldn't be surprised if Microsoft is waiting for Apple to show its Tablet hand before trotting out its revamped Tablet."

A key difference between a Microsoft tablet and an Apple one would be that Microsoft would design the basic spec, and let hardware partners build the actual devices--allowing MS to sit back and enjoy revenue from Zune-like subscription services, rather than be in the hardware-manufacturing business (and judging from the Xbox 360's high failure rate, that might not be the worst idea).

About the author

Dan Ackerman leads CNET's coverage of laptops, desktops, and Windows tablets, while also writing about games, gadgets, and other topics. A former radio DJ and member of Mensa, he's written about music and technology for more than 15 years, appearing in publications including Spin, Blender, and Men's Journal.

 

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