Ever since Apple launched the iPad, competitors have been chasing the tablet’s runaway success. Though some have come close (i.e. Samsung), and Googles Android-based tablets have dented the market share, but they havent been successful at snatching the majority from Apple yet. It seems no one has matched the popularity of the iPad so far.
But Microsoft and Intel say that is about to change.
Intel hopes to launch its Atom-powered Medfield platform in the market, in time for Microsofts Windows 8 OS launch sometime in October this year. Microsoft and Intel are both trying to gain lost ground in the tablet market. ARM mobile semiconductors have dominated the market, leaving Intel completely lost. The same has been the case with the OS market, where Microsoft hasnt had a competing product to take on Googles Android and Apples iOS platforms.
Digitimes has reported that Microsoft and Intel are working together in hope to bring down Apples market share to below 50 percent from the current 70 percent. Taiwan-based ODMs stated that the two are also allying with their first-tier vendors, which include Hewlett-Packard (HP), Dell, Lenovo, Acer, Asustek Computer and Toshiba, who may collectively launch the Windows 8 tablets by the end of the year.
The new line of tablets are expected to be priced anywhere between $300 and $1,000, but there are also going to be some competitive products priced under the $300 price range, that should really help build the competition against the more expensive iPad tablets.
Acer and Lenovo said they are all set to get into Windows 8 mode. It is reported that Lenovo and Acer will have tablet PCs starting at $300, priced to compete with not only Apples iPad, but the slew of Android-powered tablets flooding the market.
Intel has attempted to catch up in the mobile sector after Apple decided Intels x86 Atom chips drew too much power to run the iPad. This prompted Apple to develop its indigenous ARM-based A-series of chips, which currently powers the iPad and iPhone lineup.
With as many as 32 devices, and some of them quite cheap by the sounds of things, Microsoft and Intel’s vision of taking over the tablet market doesn’t sound overly-ambitious. However, it will rely on Windows 8 and its ability to bring a seamless tablet UI and experience to these devices. It’s thought Windows 8 will reach general availability in October of this year, and tablet manufacturers are expected to start launching Windows 8 slates as soon as it becomes available.