There have been many calls for Microsoft to produce their own Windows Phone 7 smartphone, but now Digitimes reports that the company may go down the OEM route with their own, Microsoft-branded Windows 8 tablet.
According to Digitimes Microsoft is “proceeding on a low profile” while still trying to get OEMs on board with Windows 8 tablets.
Microsoft is apparently already lining up Taiwanese ODMs and Texas Instruments for the ARM chips the tablet will need, with the targeted delivery date the end of 2012.
The move would be risky, as it would alienate many of Microsoft’s partners. At the same time these very same partners are already aggressively shipping Android tablets, and a Microsoft tablet may not get much commitment, much like the HP Slate received earlier this year.
Other logistics issues remain, such as distribution deals and marketing, all of which argue against such a plan. On the other hand if Microsoft did indeed produce their own tablet they would take full responsibility for the designs and features of the project, unlike at present with Windows Phone 7 or PCs in general.
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