Microsoft’s next-generation Windows 8 ARM Tablets and Slates could launch ahead of a full desktop version of Windows 8.
Morgan Stanley’s research analyst Adam Holt issued a note on Friday claiming that Microsoft’s strategy for tablets is “closer to competitive ARM based tablets on Win 8 than some realize.” Holt goes on to explain that Windows 8 tablets could ship as early as this year. “We think that MSFT is further along with an ARM based tablet than some believe, however, and MSFT’s ARM solutions will support Office 2010 on day 1—which should be Fall 2011 or Spring 2012.” Holt cites meetings with Microsoft’s CFO Peter Klein and other c-level executives together with field data for his predictions.
Holt’s analysis runs alongside Dell’s recently leaked Tablet Roadmap. The documents reveal that the OEM has marked Q1 2012 as its date for a Windows 8 based slate. WinRumors understands that Microsoft has been working on an ARM based version of Windows for nearly a year and that it is laboring hard to bring this to the market as soon as possible. Microsoft has previously promised a “major revamp” of Windows for slate applications, that will come in the next version, Windows 8. The software giant has been criticized for its slow response to Apple’s iPad device, introduced in April, 2010. WinRumors understands that Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, is eager to have a competitive Slate strategy in place before the holiday season. Microsoft’s hardware partners introduced a range of new form factors at CES, a mix between traditional Slates and laptops, but many have failed to wow the market.