If reports are to be believed, Microsoft is almost done working on Windows 8 which is currently running in Consumer Preview and is set to launch it sometime in October this year. Along with the launch of the touch-centric OS, Microsoft is also looking to launch tablets and PCs powered by Windows 8, and this will be six months after the launch of the 3rd generation iPad from Apple.
Not just from Microsoft, in fact new tablets from powered by Intel are also debuting at the same time. And according to Bloomberg, the first batch of devices which shall go on sale in October will include those with ARM-based processors, and those powered by Intel x86 chipsets. With Windows 8, Microsoft will be supporting ARM-based chipsets for the first time, something usually found in tablets and smartphones from Apple because of low energy requirements.
Even with this, Microsoft has put heavy restrictions on ARM, which means Intel powered devices will inevitably outnumber ARM based devices. The Bloomberg publication says that there will be only five ARM devices, three of which will be tables.
The October launch would give Microsoft a good opportunity to enter the market for tablets which has been so far dominated by Apple, Amazon and Android devices, since the holiday season sees a boom in the tablet space. And this would in wake of developer conferences being held by Google and Apple, perhaps to launch newer versions of their respective operating systems, making it even more competitive for Windows 8.
Microsoft may also launch Windows Phone 8, a newer version of its mobile OS, but whether Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 are going to be launched together is not clear.