Report: Microsoft to Unveil iPad Rival Next Week
A post on the Wrap today claims to have learned that Microsoft will be revealing a new tablet device on June 18 at 3:30 Pacific time. Apparently, that’s when the company is scheduled to hold an event at which they’ll make a “major” announcement. This announcement, says the post, will revolve around a tablet running on Windows RT, a version of the forthcoming Windows 8 that uses an ARM microprocessor.
As it is, the only tablets you can purchase that utilize Windows-based software are made by other manufacturers, and the idea of Microsoft manufacturing its own devices has become more acceptable on a conceptual level ever since the success of the Xbox family of consoles. Given the fact that one of the cornerstones of Microsoft’s E3 conference was the innovation of SmartGlass—a way for tablets and phones to control and be integrated into the action on the Xbox 360—a Microsoft-made tablet isn’t too surprising at all. In fact, the surprise is more that it hasn’t been announced sooner.
Of course, many manufacturers have tried and failed to compete with Apple’s iPad. No devices have the market share that Apple has in this arena, and no devices have the kind of instant recognition or cachet that the iPad provides. Amazon’s Kindle Fire managed to stir things up by offering a pretty functional $200 tablet—and I happen to love my Kindle Fire. But that device is hampered by Amazon’s crappy launcher and other budget-conscious features (no front—facing camera, no data access, 7-inch screen, etc.).
Not only that, but with the Wii U coming out this fall, gaming’s gone tablet-crazy, it seems. Sony has the Vita, which is basically a cross between a phone and a tablet with a bunch of joysticks, while the Wii U GamePad and the 3DS offer gamers touch-screen control. Microsoft is the only company left out of that, excepting, of course, phones and tablets with Windows OS. So why shouldn’t they want to get a bigger slice of a pie that everyone already knows is high on the lists of consumers’ preferences? It was only a matter of time, now that I think about it.
If Microsoft can come out with a device comparable to the iPad, but at a price that makes it an attractive alternative to Apple’s tablet, things might get very interesting very soon. On the other hand, what are the chances that Microsoft will be able to succeed where hardware giants like Samsung and Toshiba have failed?
Via The Wrap