Can the Windows 8 Tablet Beat the iPad 3?

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At long last, the Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) Windows 8 Tablet may soon see the light of day.

Even though the operating system isn't set for an official release until late next year, there are reports that Samsung has built a tablet running the OS and will be unveiled at Microsoft's BUILD developers' conference next week. The introduction would represent the first time that Samsung and Microsoft actively collaborated together on hardware design. In the context of recent events, it probably won't be the last, either.

Lacking any official details, we're left to speculate on what lurks inside. Windows 8 includes support for ARM-based  processors, and conditions are ripe for NVIDIA's (Nasdaq: NVDA  ) new quad-core mobile processor, code-named "Kal-El," to win a spot much to Intel's (Nasdaq: INTC  ) dismay. Such an inclusion would add some color to NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang's recent bullishness, estimating that the company's mobile-chip business will grow to $20 billion by 2015 -- a tenfold increase over four years.

Microsoft had already unveiled a number of ARM-powered Windows 8 prototypes back in June along with the OS itself. I happen to be a little skeptical about a single unified OS for desktops, laptops, and tablets. As a user of Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) Mac OS X Lion, I'm not a fan of all the iPad-inspired elements like full-screen apps and Launchpad. Sharing an entire operating system is a little too much for this Fool, as integrated as it may be.

As a tablet OS, Windows 8 looks very promising. Although if Windows 8 tablets don't reach consumers' hands until late 2012, by then the iPad 3 will presumably already be out with the iPad 4 in the pipeline a few short months away. The collaboration with Samsung is probably a foreshadowing of things to come, since Sammy probably doesn't take kindly to Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) favoritism.

What about you? Will you buy a Samsung-built Windows 8 tablet instead of an iPad 3? Share your thoughts in the comments box below.

Fool contributor Evan Niu owns shares of Apple, but he holds no other position in any company mentioned. Check out his holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Microsoft, Apple, Intel, and Google and has bought calls on Intel. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Intel, NVIDIA, Apple, Google, and Microsoft, creating bull call spread positions in Apple and Microsoft, creating a diagonal call position in Intel, and writing puts in NVIDIA. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Read/Post Comments (9) | Recommend This Article (6)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On September 09, 2011, at 8:01 PM, DoctorLewis4 wrote:

    Doomed to fail. Microsoft is as usual is late to the party.

  • Report this Comment On September 09, 2011, at 8:40 PM, FreeRange1 wrote:

    Seriously, who cares. MSFT has become irrelevant in the mobile space and consumers are finally realizing that they can live without them and that there are far far better alternatives out there. They are realizing that MSFT has been pushing their bloated, broken and overpriced products on them for far too long and are happy to break free from their monopolistic stranglehold. Good riddance! (BTW, MSFT's idea of a tablet is laughable. Always has been.)

  • Report this Comment On September 09, 2011, at 9:43 PM, NofakeJake wrote:

    MSFT is finished. Stick a fork in them...they're done.

    Just like when Apple was $25 a share. And don't forget when you buried IBM.

    Just sayin...........

  • Report this Comment On September 09, 2011, at 10:07 PM, IDCDark wrote:

    I’d be careful to the people who scream MSFT is gone... They can become a massive problem ask Sony on that. All it takes is one massive AD war on T.V., WWW, Xbox, Skype and you can have a problem. Let me point out a few things Microsoft TV for Xbox coming soon (Getting providers to push a product is a nice deal) WWW(Facebook) I am just saying all I’ve got.

  • Report this Comment On September 10, 2011, at 12:36 AM, ConstableOdo wrote:

    My question is: "Are consumers even interested in a Windows 8 tablet?" I think it's mainly you tech pundits that are speculating that consumers are just sitting around and waiting for some Windows 8 tablet to come into existence. Do you think this tablet is going to be any less expensive than an iPad? Do you think it's going to be of better quality than an iPad? Do you think that companies will be able to get better profit margins than the iPad? Do you honestly believe that users will be able to easily run full desktop versions of Microsoft Office and Photoshop on a Windows 8 tablet? All are very unlikely to happen.

    These tech-pundits should ask themselves the question of why they think consumers are just going to move to Windows 8 tablets after they've just invested into the iPad ecosystem. Besides, who's going to be selling these Windows 8 tablets? The same companies that are struggling now with Windows PC sales. Who are they now struggling against? Apple and its marketing and retail machine. You think that's going to change in a year? If anything, it'll become much more difficult.

    I think that these tech pundits are totally clueless to suddenly believe that a Windows 8 tablet consumer market will spring out of nowhere.

  • Report this Comment On September 10, 2011, at 12:37 AM, photovis1 wrote:

    Apple created the tablet market and it really does not matter what anyone does, iPad will rule just as the iPod did. It is the entire Apple structure that matters, not the tablet.

  • Report this Comment On September 10, 2011, at 7:13 AM, bugnuts wrote:

    We heard a lot of noise about how the Xoom, Courier, Streak, Galaxy Tab, PlayBook and TouchPad were going to equal or best the iPad.

    Seems Apple's biggest threat is always the product that's not yet on the market.

  • Report this Comment On September 10, 2011, at 9:06 AM, richjoy403 wrote:

    Respectfully (the Apple Gestapo is watching), I have not yet bought a tablet...though I'd like to have one.

    The Ipad is a very impressive product, and all others must be compared to it. It is also VERY expensive, and Apple retains far too much control over what can be seen on it. I am also disappointed Apple refuses to allow certain features common elsewhere.

    Thus, I am on the lookout for a tablet that can do all, plus more, compared to Apple...and at a more competitive price.

    Though it is of ultimate importance to Apple fans, I really don't care who makes it, or about the OS (and I don't care if my next TV is branded a Sony, or a Samsung, or a Sharp...though I'll probably buy another Visio at Costco).

  • Report this Comment On September 10, 2011, at 2:43 PM, dastaub22 wrote:

    if the hyper confidence displaying by the Apple fans is any reflection of AAPL's executives confidence, Apple is headed down the path that led MSFT into it's mess.

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