updated 11:15 pm EDT, Tue March 20, 2012
Windows 8 tablet rollout given rough outline
Microsoft's Windows 8 ARM tablet rollout has had a rough schedule possibly outlined in a rumor late Tuesday. Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP, and Lenovo were said by Digitimes' part supplier contacts to be the ones hand-picked for the October release. The Nokia tablet might follow a month later, in November.
A next wave of ARM-based slates would come quickly in this view. Acer, ASUS, and Lenovo would return for an early 2013 introduction, while Samsung, Sony, and Toshiba would contribute Windows 8 tablets for the first time.
The initiative would show Microsoft hoping to enlist all its core supporters, not just a handful of companies, for its tablet ecosystem. Concerns have existed that Microsoft would limit those allowed to use ARM to just a few preferred companies. While unverified, it would if true create tablet support closer to the traditional PC model instead of Microsoft effectively deciding which companies can succeed.
It would still leave something of of a schism between ARM and Intel in Windows 8. The ARM models, intended to compete with the iPad that has been cutting into Windows' business, won't have access to third-party apps outside of the Windows Store and will have extremely limited desktop support. Intel systems will be more expensive and likely have worse battery life, but they will have a looser model for apps and let anyone build a Windows 8 tablet.