Microsoft-branded Windows 8 tablet reportedly under consideration
Microsoft is reportedly considering selling a Microsoft-branded tablet running Windows 8, in a move to challenge Apple's iPad and the growing field of tablets using Google's Android operating system.
The move would be a bit out of step for Microsoft, which builds operating systems but not PCs. But Microsoft has taken the "own-brand" route before with the hugely successful Xbox video game systems, as well as the unpopular Zune mp3 players and Kin smartphones.
The report that Microsoft may launch a tablet on its own comes from the Taiwanese tech website DigiTimes, which said Wednesday that unnamed sources "from the upstream supply chain" told it that the tech giant is considering partnering with Texas Instruments and hardware makers in Taiwan for the project. Microsoft did not confirm the rumors to DigiTimes.
Despite Microsoft mulling over the idea of entering the tablet market with Windows 8 on its own, the company is still looking to partner with consumer electronics brands to get Windows 8 tablets out, the report said.
Microsoft showed a preview of Windows 8 for tablets and PCs last week, but declined to say when the new operating system would be released. A week before that, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said Windows 8 was due in 2012 -- a statement the company later retracted.
-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles
Images: A screenshot from a Microsoft demo video of Windows 8 running on a tablet. Credit: Microsoft