Microsoft is reportedly mulling the idea of selling a Windows-based tablet computer under its own brand, in addition to working with device manufacturers to develop Windows-based tablets.
A story posted this morning on the DigiTimes Website cited "sources from the upstream supply chain" as saying that Microsoft is considering launching a tablet PC running Windows 8 and bearing the Microsoft logo. The story said Microsoft is working with chipmaker Texas Instruments and unnamed Taiwan-based manufacturers to develop the product.
Microsoft is working with Texas Instruments, as well as chipmakers Nvidia and Qualcomm, to develop one or more versions of Windows 8 that run with system-on-a-chip microprocessors based on the ARM architecture. That work is expected to result in a number of new tablet products running Windows 8 sometime in 2012.
Microsoft has so far missed out on the fast-growing tablet computer market which is dominated by Apple's iPad and a slew of tablets running Google's Android mobile operating system.
There have been reports that Microsoft is trying to get the ARM chipmakers to each work with a single device manufacturer to create Windows 8-based tablets. But Microsoft, which did not comment on this latest report, has not said anything about developing its own branded tablet product.
Microsoft has a decidedly mixed record when it strays beyond its software business into hardware. While the Xbox 360 video game console has been a hit, Microsoft's Zune media player has been a slow seller and its Kin smartphone bombed.