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The tablet-friendly Windows 8 operating system will be released later this year as has been confirmed by Microsoft. The beta version of the OS was released less than three weeks ago and it is a fairly stable release without any major issues. Microsoft has also been steadily adding new apps to the Windows 8 Store in the last few weeks and several app developers are also busy building new apps. Windows 8 has received excellent reviews everywhere too especially among tablet users. In fact, Windows 8 tablets are touted by many as the first real competitor to Apple iPad’s dominance in the tablet market. So, as the final touches and fixes for Windows 8 OS are taking place, hardware manufacturers are also gearing up and competing to become the first company to enter the Windows 8 tablet market.
Dell CEO Michael Dell has confirmed earlier this month that they are working on a business-friendly Windows 8 tablet. He also confirmed that they would start selling Windows 8 tablets on the exact same day when Windows 8 becomes available publicly. The Dell tablet will be fully compatible with Microsoft Office applications so that business customers can feel a lot more compatible. It would also let the device connect securely to corporate networks. Amit Midha, president of Dell Asia, even went to the extent of saying that Dell plans to “lead the market” with Windows 8 tablets. So, Dell seems to be quite ahead with the Windows 8 tablet plans.
Recently, Verge reported that it might be Lenovo who might be the first to release a Windows 8 tablet. As per their unnamed sources, the Chinese PC manufacturer Lenovo is gearing up to become the first to launch a Windows 8 tablet. They will supposedly get their Windows 8 tablet ready by October as they believe that would be the month Windows 8 would be officially released.
HP CEO Meg Whitman had also confirmed earlier in February that they would launch a Windows 8 tablet within this year. However, the exact month or time frame was not stated. Both Dell and HP had faced failures in the tablet market and had to discontinue Dell Streak and HP TouchPad respectively last year. And like Dell, HP also seems to be targeting the business clients. Whitman said that they would mainly target the enterprise clients and it would focus more on security and management features. However, unlike Dell which is planning to throw a direct competition with iPad, HP CEO clarified that they will not target head-to-head with iPad in tablet market.
The Finnish cell phone manufacturer Nokia has also confirmed that they will be one of the first to release a Windows 8 tablet. In fact, Nokia France boss Paul Amsellem recently confirmed in an interview that Nokia will have a tablet running Windows 8 OS ready by June 2012. Nokia’s experience with the Windows 7 Phone OS in their Nokia Lumia smartphones would probably come in handy too. Several features of Windows 8 are inspired by the Windows 7 Phone OS. So, they also have a fair chance of marching ahead of others as the Windows 7 Phone OS experience would definitely help them to speed up the Windows 8 tablet development.
Asus mentioned a few months back to engadeget that they are planning to release a Windows 8 tablet in late 2012. They are working closely with Microsoft as per reports and so, they might have a good chance of entering the Windows 8 tablet market quite early too.
Samsung had confirmed last year that they will launch a Windows 8 tablet in the second half of this year. Uhm Kyu Ho, head of sales and marketing at Samsung’s personal-computer business had confirmed the same though not a lot has been heard of the progress since then.
Many other manufacturers might also be working on the Windows 8 tablet. Not all of them like to reveal their plans beforehand. So, it will definitely be a healthy and fierce competition and only time will tell which hardware manufacturer becomes the first to launch their Windows 8 tablet. Frankly speaking, we would not be surprised if several companies launch their Windows 8 tablets on the official release date of the release of the Windows 8 Operating System. Windows 8 tablets are expected to be far better than Apple’s iPad tablet as it is a “complete operating system” and can perform all functions that a traditional computer can perform. Moreover, it is the lightest Windows OS in recent times which would mean the hardware costs would probably be lesser while performance would be better than the iPad. So, the chances of Windows 8 tablets’ success seem to be quite high and not many manufacturers are willing to miss a piece of the pie.