Rumor Has Microsoft Selling Its Own Tablet Running Windows RT

Posted by at 1:52 pm on June 15, 2012

The “major announcement” Microsoft has planned for next week may well be focused on its own branded tablet. Sources knowledgeable of the company’s operations have told entertainment news site The Wrap that the event, scheduled for Monday afternoon somewhere in Los Angeles, will be the coming out party for a Windows RT tablet.

A branded tablet would represent something of a departure for Microsoft. Typically, the company has stayed out of the fray when it comes to manufacturing computing devices, preferring instead to license its Windows and Windows Phone operating systems across multiple manufacturers. The dominance of Apple’s iPad—and, to a lesser extent, Android tablets—in the tablet sector, though, may have pushed Microsoft to explore hardware development.

While a branded computing device would be new for the company, it would not be Microsoft’s first foray into hardware manufacturing. Its Xbox and Xbox 360 consoles have cemented the company’s status as a major power in the gaming sector, and Microsoft has been looking to turn the Xbox 360 into the cornerstone of the living-room computing experience. The company recently announced a SmartGlass app that will allow the Xbox 360 to interact with users’ tablets; and Microsoft’s NUads interactive ad program is aimed at attracting advertisers to the growing number of users who watch television on their game consoles.

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