By Joe Wilcox on June 8, 2011, 10:53 AM
But 2012 is waaaaay too late.
DigiTimes reports that Microsoft is "considering to launch an own-brand tablet PC that features Windows 8 by the end of 2012 with cooperation from Texas Instruments and Taiwan-based OEMs/ODMs." Companies like Microsoft are "considering" all kinds of things. For example, Microsoft Research might be considering how to adapt Windows for cryogenic chambers, anticipating someday freezing CEO Steve Ballmer's head. That doesn't mean it will happen.
Intent isn't the same as execution, but in the case of a Microsoft branded tablet it should be. Microsoft cannot stay out of the tablet market any longer -- as provider of hardware, software and supporting services. Apple has seized control of a category Microsoft pioneered. In a few months, iCloud will transform how Apple customers use tablets and other iOS devices, using push rather than pull for data synchronization. Microsoft must launch its own tablet, regardless of potential channel conflict with its OEM partners.