Microsoft tablet launch imminent?

Could a Windows RT tablet be unveiled next week?
Darren Allan

June 15, 2012
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The latest tablet rumour is that Microsoft is about to unveil its very own slate next week.

It’s not the first time Microsoft has shaped up to be producing a tablet. You may recall that back in 2009, the company dabbled with an own brand dual-screen tablet which was hinged like a book, the Courier. But that was scrapped in early 2010.

And now, according to a report by The Wrap, Microsoft is actually taking the plunge into the slate market, and its creation will be unveiled in an event next Monday afternoon.

The announcement will happen in Los Angeles, and while Microsoft has stated it will be a major event, the company hasn’t actually said exactly what will be revealed yet. The Wrap’s source claims that it will be a tablet, and a Windows RT powered one.

In other words, an ARM tablet, not an Intel processor driven one.

As always, this is speculation, and the tablet market is far from an easy nut to crack. It’s still dominated by the iPad, although Android devices, particularly the Kindle Fire, are making some headway.

Microsoft’s device, if it exists, could likely be an attempt to take on the Fire budget end of the market, rather than the iPad – as that’s certainly a softer target. However, Apple has long been rumoured to be mulling the launch of a budget iPad model with a 7.85 inch screen, which could happen this year.

And that would make the lower end of the market a more difficult proposition for Microsoft, certainly. Still, the company may feel it needs to push Windows on tablets, leading by example.

We’ll find out after the weekend.


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