Microsoft is Planning to Launch iPad-Rivalling Windows 8 Tablet

Microsoft caught our attention on Thursday with a media invitation to a super-secret event in Los Angeles: “This will be a major Microsoft announcement — you will not want to miss it.”

Windows 8 Tablet vs. iPad: Tablets running MS Windows 8 operating system are nothing new, but Microsoft itself has not manufactured a tablet. Photo: Marc Biebusch/Flickr

Bill Gates and Paul Allen founded Microsoft in 1975 to sell a version of the BASIC programming language for MITS’s Altair microcomputer, reports The Time.

Their idea–producing essential system software for computer manufactured by others – turned out to be one of the greatest business models in the history of business.

And now, thirty-seven years later, Microsoft Corp. may be about to try something new – the company is set to unveil a Windows 8 tablet next week that will mark its entry into rival Apple’s territory with its own branded product, according to the The Wrap, primarily an entertainment Hollywood website.

The Verge confirmed that Microsoft Corp. is holding the event and All Things D also said the event could be used to launch a tablet. Howerver, other tech websites speculated the target might not be the iPad-killer but the 7-inch Kindle Fire – and that Nokia may be involved.

Microsoft Corp. has scheduled a secretive event for Monday at 3:30 p.m. June 18 in Los Angeles, where it will make a “major” announcement whose nature has not been disclosed. Even the venue has not yet been announced.

The Wrap says that the source with the knowledge of the company said that Microsoft would introduce a Microsoft-manufactured tablet at the event, marking a foray into a new hardware category that would put the company in direct competition with giant rival Apple.

Of course, Microsoft did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Rumors have surfaced that Microsoft’s new tablet will run on Windows RT, a version of Windows 8 that uses an ARM microprocessor.

“Microsoft isn’t new to the hardware game, of course,” writes Harry McCracken from The Time. “It’s created everything from mice to the ill-fated Zune to a robotic version of Barney. But if it’s ever sold a true computing device under its own name before, I’ve forgotten about it.”

“It’s pointless to speculate much until we know more about the device in question – assuming it exists – but it’s not hard to see why Microsoft might want to do this, even though the company runs the risk of ticking off other hardware manufacturers who it wants to use its software, ” he added.

In 2011 at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer already discussed the ARM chip technology. Microsoft has created a multibillion-dollar market with the Xbox, the premiere gaming console that has evolved into a leading entertainment delivery device.

Tablets running Windows software are nothing new, but Microsoft itself has not manufactured a tablet itself. However at E3 earlier this month it announced ‘SmartGlass’, a service designed to connect Xbox consoles with phones, tablets and PCs, leading to renewed speculation it may launch its own branded devices.

But this forthcoming tablet, if the rumors are to be believed, will be made in-house — much like the most successful Microsoft product of the last decade, the Xbox. What would a Microsoft tablet have to do to beat the Apple’s iPad? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

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