Microsoft first touted the potential of tablets over a decade ago, but has struggled to keep pace with the Apple and Android device onslaught. New reports suggest the deep-pocketed software company will try to regain its tablet relevance by unveiling a new slate, made by hardware giant Samsung, at Microsoft's upcoming BUILD developers conference.
This gathering of the Windows faithful will be held in Anaheim California September 13 to the 16th, where it's rumored Microsoft president Steven Sinofsky will showcase a tablet computer running the much anticipated Windows 8 OS. Details as to what Windows 8 will look like are limited but we do expect it to be touch-friendy and sport a much cleaner, less Windows-like, interface optimized for a modern slate.
The possibility of major manufacturer Samsung partnering with Microsoft bodes well for potential Windows tablet success since it has created a string of well-designed Android products, notably the original Galaxy Tab and recent Galaxy Tab 10.1. In fact, Samsung has been successful enough with these gadgets and its previous Galaxy S smartphones that Apple fears the company as a threat. Why else would it file onerous patent law suits against the Korean competitor specifically targeting the Tab?
This isn't the first time Samsung and Microsoft have struck up a partnership in an effort to pioneer a new product category. A few years ago, predating the tablet frenzy, the two companies joined forces to construct UMPCs such as the Samsung Q1EX-71G. Hopefully this time around, the collaboration will prove more fruitful.
Whatever happens at BUILD, Redmond needs to step up its tablet game to compete with the soaring popularity of the iPad 2, imminent Android Icecream devices, and the possible iPad 3 release in 2012.