Nokia and Microsoft are readying a 10-inch, Windows 8-based tablet that will feature a dual-core processor from Qualcomm, according to DigiTimes. The Taiwan-based tech journal cited component supplier sources as saying that the rumored tablet will be released in the fourth quarter of this year “at the earliest.”
The rumored Windows 8 tablet will be built by Compal Electronics with a first manufacturing run of more than 200,000 units, DigiTimes reported Monday. Microsoft has not announced a release date for Windows 8, but the new operating system, which adds support for ARM-based processors and is being optimized for touch screen mobile devices with features like its Metro-style interface, is expected to arrive in late 2012.
The most-recent glimpse of Windows 8 came in late February, when Microsoft released a Windows 8 Consumer preview that was downloaded more than a million times in the first few days it was made available. For more, see the slideshow below.
Even if Microsoft does deliver a Windows 8 tablet ahead of the holiday season, it’s not clear if it will have much of an impact on the tablet market this year, PCMag columnist Tim Bajarin opined Monday. Bajarin expects that Microsoft will raise the curtain on Windows 8 tablets at an event in New York on Oct. 22 with availability targeted sometime in the fourth quarter.
“But given the fact that there may not be a lot of Windows 8 Metro-tweaked apps available at launch, it’s unclear how much a Windows 8 tablet will impact this holiday season,” he wrote. “Still, a lot of IT directors are anxious to get early models to test in their shops because these Windows 8 tablets can run in both Metro mode and traditional mode—an important feature for businesses that want to run current Windows apps.”
The fact is, when a Windows 8 tablet finally does make an appearance, it will be competing in a space that’s already seen Apple release its third-generation iPad and where the sub-$200 Kindle Fire from Amazon, which runs a heavily modded version of Google’s Android mobile operating system, has also staked out a chunk of the consumer tablet market.
Would a Nokia tablet be part of that rumored October tablet fest? It seems a natural fit, since the Microsoft-Nokia alliance has grown to the point that Nokia executives now have to regularly fend off rumors that the software giant is planning to acquire their company.