Nokia Windows 8 Tablet to Set Sail with Mid-2012 Launch

Is the familiarity of Windows on a PC and the potential for similar experiences on a mobile device – such as access to common data files and applications – what the market is missing to see broader media tablet adoption? Today, Microsoft offers Windows 7 and Windows Phone 7 software platforms for different device form-factors, but the synergies between the two are few.

Compounding the issue is the dominance of ARM-based processor designs in media tablets; a segment that Intel x86 architecture has admittedly been absent for the first product wave. Windows 7 doesn’t work on ARM processors, but Microsoft aims to address that in the next major release of its full computing OS – Windows 8 – and a build specifically for ARM-based systems. Little is known about the readiness of Windows 8 for ARM on tablets. At the Microsoft BUILD conference in September, Samsung tablet PCs were given to attendees with an early developer preview of Windows 8. This first glimpse into Windows 8 on a tablet was powered by an Intel Core i5 dual-core processor similar to those found in mid-range laptop and desktop PCs. How well Windows 8 performs on an ARM-based device remains a well-guarded secret.

Nokia joins other system OEM companies, including Dell, HP, and Samsung, in positioning a Windows 8 tablet for launch in 2012. Notice that all of these suppliers except Nokia have a Windows 7 tablet in the market today for business users, many of which are built around the decade-old x86 Tablet PC architectures and not a consideration for consumers and the mass market. What exactly does Nokia bring to the party that today’s Windows tablets are lacking? Only Nokia can answer that question.
The company’s foray into “Internet Tablets” with the elongated N700, N800 and N900 series have not exactly made it a contender in the media tablet market. However, the company is rapidly working to transform itself back into a world-class brand and supplier. Its partnership with Microsoft for Windows Phone on new handsets could be the first of many device and OS pairings from the two vendors.