According to the technology site CRN
, the Microsoft
corporation is planning to enter the tablet market. This relates to a series of rumors that during the week of June 18, possibly as early as the Monday, the tech giant will announce its latest product.
sees the tablet development, if the rumor is substantiated, as a direct challenge to Apple, who are Microsoft's biggest rival. Bloomberg
note that Microsoft have, so far, declined to comment on the rumor.
Tablet computers are mobile computers, larger than a mobile phone, consisting of a flat touch screen. They are operated by touching the screen and interfacing with the Internet. The devices are estimated to outsell
desktop personal computers by 2013.
If the Internet gossip is correct, this heralds a change in direction for Microsoft. For the past few years, Microsoft has worked with selected companies to develop tablets that will operate Windows software. The change in direction may be in keeping with the release of Windows 8
in 2012, which has a great deal of functionality aimed at Tablet computers. Windows 8 will employ a new user interface based on Microsoft's Metro design language.
The New York Times
sees the move as historically significant. In the thirty-seven years of Microsoft's existence the company has never manufactured its own computer and for years was synonymous with computer operating software.
speculates that Microsoft might try for something different and produce a seven inch screen sized tablet device, resembling something akin to a large version of the Windows smartphone.
It will be interesting to see how successful Microsoft's latest hardware experiment turns out to be. The company's track-record, as AllThingsD
summarizes, is somewhat uneven: the Xbox has been a great success, whereas the Zune media player, an attempt to take on Apple's iPod, was a poor seller.