After signaling for months that it would attack the market only through its traditional hardware partners, Microsoft has decided to enter the tablet business more directly.
The company isn’t talking about its effort, but Microsoft has scheduled an event Monday in Los Angeles, where it has promised a “major” announcement. AllThingsD reported earlier on Thursday that the event would center around Microsoft’s tablet strategy.
Sources say that Microsoft concluded that it needs its own tablet, with the company designing both the hardware and software in an effort to better compete against Apple’s strengths. Microsoft’s tablets may include machines running ARM-based processors as well as models running on traditional PC processors, sources said.
Online site The Wrap reported this evening that Microsoft will manufacture its own devices, something that AllThingsD sources have also heard in recent weeks.
The move could allow Microsoft to better match Apple’s tight integration, but it is also fraught with the potential for conflict. Microsoft makes most of its money from Windows and Office, and depends on an ecosystem of PC makers like Dell, HP, Acer and Lenovo to make those Windows-based machines.
Many of those same computer makers, at Microsoft’s urging, have been developing tablets running both Windows 8 and Windows RT — the version of Windows 8 designed to run on the ARM processors used in today’s phones and tablets.