Momentum building behind Microsoft branded tablet rumour for next week

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Rumours are getting ever stronger that Microsoft will be announcing an own-branded tablet pc on Monday next week.

Bloomberg only cites one person “familiar with the plans” saying Microsoft will “announce plans to sell a tablet running the next version of the Windows operating system under its own brand” while the New York Times claims a whole bevy of “people with knowledge of Microsoft’s plans” saying the same.

The Microsoft tablet is expected to use a variation of Windows 8, known as Windows RT, that is designed specifically for tablet devices based on a class of microprocessors called ARM chips.

The news would be a major departure from the traditional Windows software model, and would see Microsoft compete directly with their OEMs such as Asus, Toshiba and HP.

“If Microsoft wants to control the entire user experience and the entire quality of their products, they have to build their own hardware,” said Michael Cherry, an analyst at Directions on Microsoft, a Kirkland, Washington-based market- research firm.

While the move may upset some OEMs, they have little alternative but to continue supporting Windows 8, said Colin Gillis, an analyst at BGC Partners LP in New York.

“If you’re a computer maker, you don’t love it,” Gillis said. “But what are you going to do? Build an Android tablet? Google is going to build its own tablet, too. Everyone is making their own hardware now. It’s like having a poodle in your purse. All the cool kids are doing it.”

Microsoft shares rose 2.3 percent to $30.02 at the close in New York.

Do our readers think this rumour is substantiated, and if so, what will a “Real Microsoft Tablet” look like? Let us know below.

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