Microsoft is expected to host an event in Los Angeles on Monday, 18 June at 3.30 p.m., and although reports had first hinted at this being used to extoll the latest features of Windows 8, sources now claim that Microsoft will unveil its own tablet.
The Microsoft tablet will run Windows RT – the ARM-powered version of Windows 8, according to Hollywood source The Wrap, which surprising unearthed the rumor via a Microsoft “insider”.
Should Microsoft come to the tablet hardware market, the firm would certainly have the resources to compete with Apple’s iPad in the market.
Apple is renowned for controlling the entire user experience on the iPad, and so designs the hardware, provides the software and vets the applications on its own App Store, and Microsoft would be able to do the same if it controlled its own tablet as well as the Windows 8 OS and the Windows App Store.
By comparison, tablet manufacturers adopting Android have less control over the software and none at all when it comes to what applications are available on Google Play.
The move would no doubt infuriate those OEM vendors who plan to launch Windows 8 tablets later in the year, as they would immediately face a titanic fight to persuade consumers to swerve Microsoft’s own device for one of their own.
Microsoft is licensing copies of Windows 8 to these vendors at $85, and although this figure does include the Microsoft Office suite for free, it has been reported that this will see Windows-powered tablets start from $500 and go up to a mighty $800.
Microsoft has of course flirted with the idea of making its own tablets before, and was working on the dual-screen Courier concept, before shelving that particular project halfway through 2010.
The firm declined to comment on the rumors.