updated 05:50 pm EDT, Thu March 15, 2012
Lenovo may claim first Windows 8 slate
Lenovo could be the vanguard for Microsoft's Windows 8 launch, based on details that may have surfaced Thursday. The company supposedly intends to be the "very first" with a Windows 8 tablet and was anticipating launching simultaneously with an OS release in October, The Verge said. Only an Intel chip was mentioned as far as details, although this implied it might be the IdeaPad Yoga we tried at CES.
The Yoga is attempting to appease both traditional notebook users and those looking for tablet functions. Its 13.3-inch display has the unique trick of complete freedom of vertical movement to let users fold the screen completely around the back to turn it into a tablet without the usual complexity associated with Windows tablets.
Whether or not it meets its own goal, Lenovo if accurate could be vying with Dell and other Windows supporters hoping to be the first. The move would capture both early adopters as well as get the benefit of added promotion from Microsoft.
All of them are taking gambles that Microsoft has solved its decade-long inability to muster widespread support for Windows tablets. The company since 2002 had insisted that a pen-enabled version of conventional Windows was enough for a tablet. Its entire lifetime Windows tablet sales were outsold by the iPad in nine months as customers flocked to the much more direct interface, lower prices, and much more portable Apple design. Windows 8 tablets will be thinner and lighter than before, with a much more touch-aware interface, but they may not be significantly less expensive than their ancestors.