Microsoft Unveils Surface Tablet Computer, Taking on Ipad
Windows 8 will arrive amid a deteriorating PC market -- research firm Gartner Inc. on June 15 cut its 2012 PC shipment growth forecast to 2.7 percent from 4.4 percent. Tablet shipments, by comparison, are forecast to almost double to 116 million units this year, Gartner estimates.
Microsoft's entry into the tablet market also comes as challengers such as Hewlett-Packard Co. and Research In Motion Ltd. have failed to derail Apple's dominance with their own tablets. The worldwide tablet market is estimated to reach $78.7 billion this year, according to research firm DisplaySearch.
LG Electronics Inc., the world's No. 4 mobile-phone maker, will sideline tablet development to focus more on smaller devices rather than compete head-on with Apple Inc.'s iPad, the Seoul-based company said in an e-mail today. LG introduced its second tablet, named Optimus Pad LTE, earlier this year.
Microsoft is also teaming up with PC makers like Acer Inc., Toshiba Corp. and Asustek Computer Inc. to build tablets with Windows 8, which will be called Windows RT for versions running on ARM-based chips.
Working with partners is Microsoft's more traditional way of operating. Apple's success with the iPad may be pushing the company to seek greater control over the hardware design so it works seamlessly with the software, like Apple does.
Eoin Treacy's view Tablet computers are quickly becoming the tool of choice for consumers interested in surfing the net, social networking and reading. Microsoft's addition of a USB port, Micro HD and micro SD slots are likely aimed directly at those who have long hankered for such additions to the iPad. This additional article carries some additional product information.
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