Microsoft's iPad Challenger Slated for 2012?

The software giant's answer to the iPad may hit shelves sometime next year.


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The battle to grab marketshare in the tablet sector is now front and center, yet Microsoft's entry appears late. David Needle reports.

It's been more than seven months since Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer told investment analysts that becoming a major player in the tablet computing market was "job one," but the company has little to show so far, even as the iPad will celebrate its first birthday next month.

In fact, it may be late summer next year -- that is, as much as a year and a half -- before Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) seriously enters the market for tablets, according to a published report.

Friday, Bloomberg reported that anonymous sources with knowledge of Microsoft's plans had said that the company won't be finished adding in all of the necessary features to Windows, ostensibly Windows 8 at that point, to support tablet computing -- until late summer 2012.

"Public testing of a new version of Windows will begin at the end of this year with partners and customers, said the people, who declined to be identified because the plans haven't been disclosed publicly," the report said.

While the company itself has been officially mum, various reports claiming sources close to the software giant say that Microsoft plans to provide tablet features like support for multiple touch displays, greatly expanded battery life, and instant on capabilities in Windows 8 which is due around that time.

Read the rest about Microsoft's iPad challenger at Internetnews.

Tags: Microsoft, iPad, tablet, handheld, mobile PC

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