Nokia ties to Microsoft with Windows Phone are set to expand to Windows 8 and tablets this year. According to DigiTimes, Nokia will release a 10in Windows tablet towards the end of the year.
Although in no way confirmed by Nokia or Microsoft at this stage, DigiTimes writes that the phone-maker is planning an initial batch of 200,000 units, to be manufactured by Compal Electronics. Just as the Lumia smartphone range competes with the Apple iPhone 4S and Android phones, this 10in Windows 8 tablet will do battle with Android tablets and the iPad.
That Nokia is working on a Windows tablet is believable enough, but DigiTimes has a reputation for creating rumours that evaporate fairly swiftly, and the more precise details here should be approached with caution.
The Windows 8 Metro interface
The beta version of Windows 8 was released on 29 February, and gives joe publics like us a chance to see what the next-gen version of Microsoft's OS will look like. It's split into two parts - one that looks like current Windows, and another that's much closer to Windows Phone in design. This Metro UI side is made up of a scrolling array of multi-coloured panes, and offers its own apps. It's this side of Windows 8 that will be most useful for tablets, being clearly touchscreen-oriented.
At this point, a Windows 8 tablet from Nokia seems like a novel idea, and one that could add a touch of colour to a tablet market dominated by the iPad and reams of Android tabs. However, we shouldn't forget that most of the other big manufacturers are working on Windows 8 tablets too. HTC, Samsung and Dell all reportedly have Windows 8 tablets on the way.
However, the Micorosoft-Nokia partnership is one that, so far, has borne tasty fruit. The Nokia Lumia 800 and Lumia 900 are both gorgeous-looking devices, although sales to date have been disappointing, forcing Nokia to cut sales forecasts in late 2011.