Thursday, June 09, 2011

Microsoft rumored to be working on its own Windows 8 tablet

With the exception of the Xbox line, Microsoft hasn't been successful with hardware aside from peripherals (including, of course, the hit Kinect), but that may be changing. DigiTimes, which gets much of its info from upstream Asian parts suppliers, says the Redmond-based company is considering building its own branded tablet computer using Taiwanese white-label manufacturers.

iPad CasesDigiTimes is frequently right due to its sources, but it's also been wrong. Additionally, the word "considering" should be emphasized and noted. Even DigiTimes said this was just a rumor, and cited no confirmation from Microsoft.

Those tablets would not arrive until late 2012, running Windows 8, according to the report. In addition to white-label Taiwanese OEMs/ODMs, Microsoft would get assistance from Texas Instruments, the report stated.

Good idea or bad? Microsoft, as we stated above, has a history of failed hardware introductions. Items like the Kin, wireless routers (yes, they did those, but you probably don't remember them), and the Zune come immediately to mind. So that alone seems to point to "bad idea."

Additionally, think of how well this will sit with Microsoft's hardware partners. In other words, it won't. However, DigiTimes believes that miffed partners won't have any effect on Microsoft, at least in the short term.

Certainly, a Windows 8 tablet from Microsoft itself isn't out of the question. But it's probably better in the long-term if Redmond spends more effort a) making Windows 8 as tablet-friendly as possible, and b) spends more effort working on convincing OEMs of that fact.

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