If the rumours are true and Microsoft’s special event in LA on Monday really is the launch of an ‘offcial’ Windows 8 tablet, what would we like to see? Listen to us, Microsoft. For we are the font of all knowledge! Here are five things we’re hoping for.
Launching an ‘own brand’ Windows 8 tablet is a bit of a risk for Microsoft, given the potential to annoy the manufacturers who give them lots of money by bundling Windows with their machines. If it works though it would be great for consumers. Here’s what we think the Microsofties should focus on.
A Kindle Fire killer
We know that Microsoft has teamed up with Barnes & Noble to try and take on the Kindle Fire. Could Monday’s big announcement be a Windows 8-powered version of the Nook e-reader? A Windows-based OS under the hood might be what is required to take on the Android-derived Fire and the Windows 8 ‘Metro’ design aesthetic could work well on an e-reader. We have our fingers crossed for this one.
Xbox integration – IE SmartGlass on steroids
Microsoft’s second-screen tech SmartGlass was one of the few surprises at this year’s E3 and the way it makes the web fit the Metro UI seems really well done. We want to see this in action, preferably with more media centre integration to finally give Apple’s AIrPlay something to worry about.
A Microsoft-made tablet without the name
The Xbox may sell like hot cakes during a hot cake festival on planet Hot Cake, but the failed Zune experiment shows that Microsoft is equally adept at making terrible hardware products that nobody wants to buy. Put bluntly, Microsoft is not a sexy brand. If it wants the Windows 8 tablet to sell to non-Windows 8 geeks then a whole new brand might be required. Think Google’s Nexus branding for the flagship Android phones.
Lots of form factors
You can’t move for 7-inch tablet at the moment, so while we wouldn’t turn our noses up at a 7-inch Windows 8 slab, we hope Microsoft gets a bit creative and tries out some different form factors. Asus is said to be working on a Transformer Prime-ish tablet running Windows 8 and if Microsoft can come up with something like that with a fast ARM processor and a sub-MacBook Air price we would be all over it.
Lots of developer announcements to make it worth buying
A Windows 8 tablet will need plenty of decent apps designed specifically for the quirks of the platform if it is going to succeed. Microsoft has plenty of good relationships with developers who have kept the desktop Windows well supplied with software over the years, but it will need to secure some guaranteed quality releases and AAA games if it wants to convince us to part with our cash.
[source: All Things D]