Microsoft iPad-killer Windows 8 tablet: Soon say several sources. Sweet!

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is rumored to be launching its own tablet Monday. Although there's some disagreement about its intended use and the platform it runs: Windows 8? Windows Embedded? Windows Phone? But naturally, in IT Blogwatch, bloggers blog the phrase 'iPad killer.'

Windows 8

By Richi Jennings: Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention: The 1700-year Civ II war...

Sharon Waxman & Alexander C. Kaufman tag-team the rumor reporting:

Microsoft...has scheduled a secretive event for Los Angeles, where it will make a "major" announcement. ... [An] individual with knowledge of the company said that Microsoft would introduce a...tablet at the event...put[ting] the company in direct competition with giant rival Apple.


Rumors have surfaced that Microsoft's new tablet will run on Windows RT. ... Previously, Microsoft-enabled tablets have been made by hardware manufacturers such as Samsung and Hewlett-Packard.   

Ina Fried is in a spin: [You're fired -Ed.]

After signaling...that it would attack the market only, Microsoft has decided to enter the tablet business more directly...[our] sources have also heard in recent weeks.


Microsoft...depends on an ecosystem of PC makers like Dell, HP, Acer and Lenovo to make...Windows-based machines. ... It is unclear how Microsoft intends to differentiate its work...and just how [OEMs] will respond.  ... They could focus more energy around Android, but Google is also in the hardware business.   

But Mary Jo Foley ain't so sure:

If these rumors are true, I’m wondering whether [it] might be more of a rival to the Amazon Kindle Fire than the iPad.


Microsoft brass have continued to hint...[of] some kind of a Metro-centric reader. ...  [It] might be a Windows Embedded or...Windows Phone OS device...remember: The settlement/contract between B&N and Microsoft mentioned Windows Phone. A lot.


In other words, it’s going to be a consumption-first device, not a creation one. ... And maybe even made for Microsoft by Nokia.   

Speaking of Nokia, Preston Gralla adds 2+2 and calculates a strategy:

Meanwhile, whatever it is, Harry McCracken is looking forward to it:

Microsoft isn’t new to the hardware game: ... It’s created everything from mice to the ill-fated Zune to a robotic version of Barney.


[It’s] not hard to see why Microsoft might want to do this, even though the company runs the risk of ticking off other hardware manufacturers. ... If third-party manufacturers [continue] larding it up with useless utilities, pushy security software and unwanted demoware...the iPad will continue to stand alone.


But if a Microsoft tablet manages to make for a worthy alternative...either because it’s in the same ballpark or because it goes off in another direction–this could be fun.   


And Finally...
Man plays Civilization II for 10 years. With horrifying result

To express your thoughts on Computerworld content, visit Computerworld's Facebook page, LinkedIn page and Twitter stream.
From CIO: 8 Free Online Courses to Grow Your Tech Skills
Shop Tech Products at Amazon