updated 12:25 pm EDT, Mon October 17, 2011
Dell and HP clue into Windows 8 release plans
PC builders involving Dell and HP are focusing their energies on Windows 8 tablets for next summer, early rumors claimed Monday. While shy on what those models would involve, Digitimes understood that at least Dell was trying to shift its attention to pro tablets and away from the home. They wanted to get out from under "fierce competition" in the Android space, where the Amazon Kindle Fire has triggered a race to the bottom in a crowded field, according to the tips.
None of the details are confirmed, although they line up with a purported Microsoft plan that has so far lined up with what has taken place. Under that strategy, Microsoft would finish Windows 8 in April after a shortened release schedule that includes just one developer beta and one public release candidate. Most Windows releases take about two months to get from completion to shipping products and would see the earliest availability in June.
Both Dell and HP would have incentives to move to Windows 8 tablets. Its Android-based Streak tablets have never had more than a small portion of the market and have usually competed more on price owing to their low-end features. HP, meanwhile, has exited mobile OS hardware and may see Windows 8 as a way back into home-focused tablets without developing its own OS.
Both have been some of the most loyal to Microsoft's vision of tablets, being some of the most early participants in the Tablet PC push nearly a decade ago. Until Windows 8, however, that has usually meant convertible notebooks relegated to niche audiences. Windows 8 is Microsoft's first desktop OS genuinely optimized for touch and will also support much more power efficient ARM processors that should give them battery life more comparable to the more successful iPad.