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By 15 June 2012 | Categories: news

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Ahead of a “major announcement” by Microsoft on Monday in Los Angeles, rumours are circulating that the Redmond-based technology giant will lift the lid on its tablet strategy, and that it may even reveal its own tablet developed in house.
 
The Wrap, an entertainment and news site focused on Hollywood, has claimed that an “individual with knowledge of the company” revealed that the company has a Microsoft-manufactured tablet waiting in the wings.
 
However, reports are split between Microsoft focusing such a tablet on competing with the iPad’s dominance and it rather competing with Amazon’s Kindle. Given Microsoft’s recent announcement that it was forming a joint venture with Barnes and Noble (who are behind the Nook tablet, the Kindle Fire’s rival in the US) we suspect the latter is far more likely.  
 
It’s about service
 
According to AllThingsD though, the event is expected to showcase devices running Windows 8, while providing further details about some of the services and products users can expect to see when Windows 8 tablets become available.
 
Even so, we would not be at all surprised to see some kind of integration services wise with Barnes and Noble’s library as well as with Skype, which Microsoft acquired last year.
 
Should the former occur though, Microsoft would have to address one glaring flaw in its partnership with Barnes and Noble if they hope to put a dent in Amazon’s global reach. At present, the Barnes and Noble library caters almost exclusively to the US market, making it extremely difficult for international users to purchase ebooks and other media via its store.
 
And complicating matters further, Amazon appear intent on only extending their global reach, with the Kindle Touch 3G set to launch locally in a few short weeks.
 
To the point
 
Already though, some Windows tablets are emerging, such as Acer’s 10.1” and 11.6” Iconias, which were revealed at Computex Taipei at the beginning of the month.

If Microsoft has found an innovative and non exclusive way of integrating heavy hitting services such as Skype and Barnes and Noble’s extensive library into its tablets though, along with Xbox 360 functionality, then Windows 8 tablets may emerge as the devices to watch out for.   

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