If Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) and Moses have been able to make a name for themselves in tablets, why not Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT)? The world's largest software company is aiming to hit the market next year with a self-branded tablet, according to DigitTimes.

Sources are telling the Taiwanese tech publication, which often has an early read on what Asian supply chains are up to, that Microsoft is working with Texas Instruments (NYSE: TXN) and some unnamed Taiwan-based manufacturers on a Windows 8 tablet.

What are you thinking, Mr. Softy?

Any tablet that doesn't come from the Cupertino fruit company has failed to live up to the hype. The Galaxy Tab got off to a strong start, but it sputtered quickly. Motorola Mobility's (NYSE: MMI) Xoom was hoping to generate buzz as the first gadget built on the tablet-friendly Android 3.0 Honeycomb platform, but it hasn't moved the needle, either. And Research In Motion's (Nasdaq: RIMM) PlayBook was the hungry smartphone pioneer's flawed stab at regaining relevance.

Why should Microsoft fare any better?

The real stumper is that this would be a Microsoft-branded tablet. Even if it's able to streamline Windows 8 to the point where it can fly as a feasible operating system for touchscreen tablets, what would the software giant accomplish with what will be a very visible failure? Didn't it learn enough with the Kin and the Zune?

I can see the need for going it alone. What hardware company would pay to license Windows for a tablet when the freely available -- and smartphone-successful -- Android hasn't been an iPad slayer? However, let's see this through the eyes of Dell (Nasdaq: DELL) and Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ). They've been somewhat loyal Microsoft partners in the past. How could they not see a Microsoft-branded tablet as a threat?

The only way a Microsoft-branded tablet makes sense is if it's positioned as a gaming device. The Xbox has been Mr. Softy's lone hardware winner, and both of its rivals in the video-game console space have their own handheld systems. That's really the only way Microsoft can pull this one off with any chance of success and without upsetting its computing-hardware buddies.

Is the world ready for the Xbox Touch?

Does a Microsoft-branded tablet have a shot? Share your thoughts in the comments box below.

The Motley Fool owns shares of Microsoft, Texas Instruments, and Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Apple and Microsoft and creating a bull call spread position in Apple and a diagonal call position in Microsoft. 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.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is starting to see more Apple products creep into his home lately. He owns no shares in any of the companies in this story and is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.