Microsoft could be about to launch its own tablet, but rather than an ‘iPad killer’ it may turn out to be a smaller 7-inch device, more like the Amazon Kindle Fire.
An event is scheduled for June 18 in Los Angeles, where Microsoft tantalisingly promises a “major” announcement.
According to AllThingsD, sources say the event will centre around Microsoft’s tablet strategy and that Microsoft has concluded that “it needs its own tablet, with the company designing both the hardware and software in an effort to better compete against Apple’s strengths. Microsoft’s tablets may include machines running ARM-based processors as well as models running on traditional PC processors.”
The site notes that Microsoft has been more hands-on with the development of more recent versions of Windows Phones, working closely with its hardware partners such as Nokia. This more integrated approach certainly helped Apple get where it is with its phones and tablets.
According to The Wrap, “Rumours have surfaced that Microsoft’s new tablet will run on Windows RT, a version of Windows 8 that uses an ARM microprocessor.”
Mary Jo Foley at ZDNet, meanwhile, speculates that it will be more like a larger Windows Phone running a variant of its mobile operating system. Microsoft has an arrangement in place with Barnes and Noble to invest in the Nook eReader, but the deal also mentions a “Microsoft Reader”.
A 7in tablet aimed at reading e-books, playing games, music, TV series and movies could be a sensible direction (which may be why the secretive event is being held in LA) and it would also be well placed to take on the anticipated new 7in Google Nexus tablet.