A new report from Bloomberg is stating that Microsoft’s tablet optimised version of Windows will now be launching in 2012.
Ready in time for the “back-to-school-season”, that could mean as late as next Autumn. Which, considering the iPad 2 launches in just over a week, Honeycomb tablets are shipping and the BlackBerry Playbook is just over the horizon, sounds a ridiculously long time away. It does however line up with previous rumours concerning Windows 8’s launch, adding authenticity to the claims.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was bullish last year when he claimed that 2010 would be awash with Windows tablets by the end of the year, but large numbers failed to materialise, and the slates that did appear were disappointing to say the least. Windows 7 simply isn’t suited to touch controls, and needs a major overhaul if it is to compete with iOS and Android-packing devices.
Given that by next fall we’ll likely have an iPad 3, a next-gen Playbook and a Honeycomb eco-system that’s likely to be thriving with apps, hardware and Android-tablet-manufacturing-experience, Microsoft face a steep hill to scale before their tablet arm sees any major success.