Following invitations being sent out for an event to be held in Los Angeles by Microsoft to journalists, speculations are rife that Microsoft may be working on launching a tablet that will run on Windows 8. This could be their attempt to compete with Apple’s iPad and gain control over the tablet market.
Typically, Microsoft is seen working on developing software which is then licensed to hardware makers with the hope of reaching out to a broader market. However, with Apple and Google taking over, Microsoft has been lagging behind in the tablet market. The tablet market is fast growing in western countries, with the sales of PCs reducing. Even the Windows division has seen a drop in their sales in four out the last six quarters. Fortunately for Microsoft, Windows 8, which is set to be launched soon, has been designed to work on a desktop PC as well as a tablet. The Metro interface focuses on communications and social networking through Live Tiles, constantly notifying users about updates through onscreen blocks.
Analysts have pointed out that for Microsoft to control the user experience along with the quality of the products they manufacture; they are going to have to develop their own hardware. There’s also a chance of Microsoft announcing a content deal based on their SmartGlass application that will help bridge the gap between a tablet or a smartphone and a television set. The tablet is also expected to allow the user to access an eBook store with the help of the Barnes & Noble’s software following Microsoft’s $300 million deal with the company in April this year.
However, in their attempt to generate much needed cash, Microsoft is charging OEMs $85 for every time they pre-install Windows 8 into a tablet. This may not work well for them since OEMs can develop open source tablets that run on Android for free. Windows 8 tablets may prove to be expensive to consumers, with hardware makers passing on the burden of the Microsoft fees on to them, unless they are sold by carriers at a discount, loss or a long-term contract.
Microsoft’s attempts at introducing own-brand products have always fetched mixed results, the Microsoft Kin debacle being the latest of these failed efforts. Meanwhile, Google is rumored to introduce their own-brand tablet at the Input/Output event to be held on the 27th of June.