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NY Times: On Monday Microsoft will unveil their own tablet, will take on the iPad

We have to admit, we're rather loving this speculation about what Microsoft will unveil on Monday and it finally looks like it's coming into focus.

On Monday, June 18th, Microsoft will take the wraps off of their own tablet running Windows 8 (or a variant of), confirming an earlier report.

The New York Times is now going on record as having spoken to "people with knowledge of Microsoft’s plans"  that indeed, it is a tablet of their own making. As the Times points out, this is the first time in the company's 37 year history that they are making their own computer. That's huge.

What makes the situation difficult is how Microsoft's OEM partners will react--after all, they'll be competing with their own team, so to speak. On the other hand, Google has been making "Nexus" devices for some time now--devices which set the bar for what they expect as far as quality in hardware and design. Truth be told, the Nexus line of Android phones have been some of the most popular as they are both cheaper and more stable having no 3rd party skinning.

If Microsoft heads down this path, the tablet unveiled on Monday will surely be priced very competitively and also be a "pure" device. That notion certainly appeals to us and we're betting you're going to thrilled with it as well. What's more, according to the New York Times, Microsoft is aiming this directly at the iPad making this a bold (and overdue) move.

Unfortunately, there's no word if Nokia has had a hand in this--our bet is they have not. Instead, we're expecting Nokia to show off any new tablets in September at Nokia World. For some reason, we don't think we'll be disappointed with whatever they make leaving fans a tough choice: pure Microsoft or whatever Nokia offers?

The only question we're left is what will they name it? Microsoft has a spotty history in this area and let's be honest, the name is hugely important. (Then again, we all laughed at "iPad" a few years ago). We're kind of partial to "X-Tab" but curious as to what you think they should call it...let us know in comments!

Source: The NY TImes; Thanks, Pierre V., for the tip

Daniel Rubino
Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

169 Comments
  • This will be amazing if true. I can't W8 for Monday.
  • I see what you did there... Nice :P
  • This.
  • Ha.
  • Wow guys it just hit me. Microsoft has been hinting at this from day 1 of Windows 8 introduction to the masses. They've been hammering Windows reimagined: from the chipset to the experience. That's right, the experience reimagined. Think about it. They've been telling us this the whole time.
  • Lmaoo "W8" veryyy cleaver (y)
  • Clever!
  • If this is in my price range, it's a day one purchase. This is shaping up to be a great birthday week!
  • I just worry that whatever this is, if it is something cheaper than a regular Windows RT tablet that it will take away from sales of other Windows 8 and Windows RT tablets this fall.
     
    Let's say that it is a locked down consumption tablet meant to compete directly with Kindle Fire and it is in the $250 range, while Windows RT tablets are in the $500 range... How many people will rationalize that they don't need to purchase a Windows tablet because they can just buy this cheap MS tablet instead?
     
    If it is just a Microsoft-branded WinRT tablet like the Google Nexus phones then I suppose that could be fine, except the articles make it sound like Microsoft is manufacturing the product ala Zune/Xbox.
  • i dont understand this. ive always thought microsoft just wanted to provide and develop platforms for people to work on, if they want to develop hardware as well, why dont they just buy up a hardware manfacturer like a sony or hp esq. and if they do develop a tablet how long is it before they develop thier own mobile and how long will nokia stay independent. as far as oem getting concerned about ms developing a tablet i dont think they will as long as the demand is there, the products good and they can make money from it.
  • The article says it's aiming it at the iPad, so I would expect it to be like the iPad -- not the Kindle Fire. I think it would be pretty silly and counter productive for MS to come out and say, "look at our response to the iPad!" when it's nothing more than a Fire-style media consumpiton device. That'd be a really good way to obliterate all interest in Metro.
     
  • Good stuff.
  • I say match it with Xbox: xPad, xPhone, xBox, etc. Whatever they call it, I'm super pumped for this :)
  • That actually sounds catchy!
  • I agree that may seem catchy but it really isn't much better than following apple. All that they would be doing is replacing a lower case i with a lower case x. Lame.
  • Yeah, and if you created a bunch of Word documents would they be called the X-Files? Also lame. My bet is SmartGlass Tab.
  • There was already way too much confusion as to what Smart Glass is after the E3 announcement. Nobody knew whether it was a tablet or a service or an app. Branding an actual tablet with the same name as the app would just add more fuel to the fire methinks.
  • What about SmartTab or Smart Pad?
  • X has a good ring to it. XP was such a winning OS and Xbox speaks for itself. I remember I named a new workplace drive the X drive and nobody forgot it. Also worked for apple however theirs is a little more egocentric.
  • I'll love to see MS Tablet that can compete with iPad Specifications
  • MOview. Ex Samsung Moview, Asus Moview, HP Moview.
  • Well I fell asleep watching apple conference so I for sure be awake seeing the Monday win 8 tablet and Wednesday windows phone 8 launch
  • If Ballmer is here, you won't be asleep,
  • As Al Green would say, "its been a long time coming, but change gonna come". If manufacturers won't make a product design that people want, then MS should. This is what apple does, they make the product is of the highest quality period; mo shortcuts. The old saying is ,"if you want something done right, do it yourself"
  • Actually, Sam Cooke sang "Change Gone Come", not Al Green.
  • ^This. Hah!
  • Im pretty sure Al Green never said that. Lol
  • Microsoft Windows Slate (or sl8).
  • +10000000000000 for sl8
  • So once windows 9 releases, sl8 will become slime?
  • In three years (expected release of next version of windows), they can just name it Slate 4.
  • *sline
  • Omg I just shut on my pants
  • Shut..lololol
  • I can't wait.... Nokia WP8 Tablet :D
  • W8 tablets. There will be no WP8 tablets.
  • Skypad?
  • I like that one
  • Not bad!
  • Windows slate, Win Pad, MS Pad or PC Pad.. The only pad with a True OS and not just apps.. Not pad.. Leave X for the Xbox.. People will get confused thinking it will be a peripheral for the Xbox.
  • I'm fine with any name that does have 'pad' in it. I laughed my arse off for days over 'iPad'. Pad = feminine hygiene product :P
  • I might consider giving my iPad 3 to my significant other and buy myself this Win8 Tablet if the reviews are good. This is exciting news!
  • Courier X
  • Given that Geoff Keighley was invited to this event too (https://twitter.com/geoffkeighley/status/213776600385339394), I'm tempted to believe it'll be an Xbox-branded thing, if it's a phyical thing at all.
    Looking forward to find out, regardless. Could be really neat. Could also be just another beautiful piece of hardware ignored by the market, like the Zune HD.
  • I agree, I always (and still do) love my Zune HD.  Great device.
  • IGN was invited too. I'm thinking Xbox music/video type announcement :/
  • Me too. My gut says Xbox Music/Video but a lot of the rumors swirling are related to Windows RT. Maybe MS is gonna do a two-birds approach and show off how cool an Xbox Tablet is with the Music and Video apps.
  • Using the "Xbox" brand name would immediately make it obvious to consumers that this is not an alternative to a Windows 8 tablets and that this is meant more for closed-box entertainment rather than all access computing.
  • 100% agree
  • Zune wasn't ignored by the market. Zune wasn't marketed by MS.
  • It's easy to ignore a device that they didn't bother releasing outside the US
  • X-Slate.  It'll have the XBOX logo and will be their answer to the WiiU touch controller while running the ARM version of W8.
  • ^thisss.. Also the name x-slate is awesome..
  • Omg please
  • Wait.. This might sound stupid but is it being released Monday or just announced?
  • Announced.
  • It had better release Monday as well. This crap about announcing something then releasing months later has got to stop. It's the ultimate buzzkill.
  • Lol
  • It's been like that since the beginning of time
  • Not for one extremely successful consumer electronics company. They unveil and ship the same freaking day. Why no one else operates this way is just mind boggling to me.
  • I can see this as Ballmer is saying, "Meet your creator". (Display tablet while choir is singing.)
  • May be Windows Tab. Looking forward to Windows 8 :-D
  • I hope this would be under $400..it make sense to have a MSFT tablet.. Patents patents patents.... But what about Nokia tabs??? I just hope all the tech Nokia has will be in this tab
  • I hope it's not that cheap unless they sell it at a "loss" like Xbox...but I would make no sense to do that for tablets
  • I'm not sure why but you guys really got a thing for Nokia. Did you know other companies make tablets also? You guys are worse then ESPN Sunday countdown, when they mentioned Tebow nearly 300 times in one show. You've been caressing Nokia's scrotum for months but this tablet option of MS & Nokia was just to much. Just pop Nokia already & get it over with, the sexual tension is killing us. Seriously! Thank you!
  • Calm down before Elop and Balmer Tebow on you.
  • Bing pure view 808...... Lumia 900
  • Totally agree @sicnus. The thing is, I'm typing this on my Lumia 710. I do like Nokia, their design and feel, the free apps like Nokia Drive, which I use all the time. But guys, calm down on the Nokia front. We need Dell, Sony, HP, Samsung etc to get on board with W8. If MS and Nokia get to cosy and release tabs that are too competitive the companies mentioned before may not be willing to jump on the W8 bandwagon. They may not want to compromise their own hardware to be more competitive. It may even be that we see companies that have used the MS OS for years jump ship to Android. Mind you, I can't see that happening, if you had the choice of a tab with W8 or Andriod then then its a no brainer, MS all the way. I'm pretty sure MS have thought of this as they have made a LOT of money from the afore mentioned companies and will want to continue doing so. I'm looking forward to Monday as I do like my MS products, not only the tab but W8 as once this is on the scene I'm sure interest in Windows Phone will gain pace.
  • Granted we definitely need the support on all other fronts, but none of the other guys are facing as dire a future if things don't turn around...nokia bet it all on Windows Phone! That's something that NONE of the others guys have done. =p
  • *Deep breaths* ... I can wait for the official announcement. But, if it is an MS branded tablet announced on Monday, then I want to be able to buy it on Tuesday!
  • Whatever it is I hope that Dell or Nokia are unveiling it.. Especially Nokia
  • If this is just Microsoft's version of the Google Nexus phones then okay, but if it's not then I have a lot of concerns.
     
    I am against MS hedging their bets once again like saw them do with Zune vs. Plays For Sure and Kin vs. Windows Phone. I really hope this is not a repeat because this tablet could effectively dilute the message of Windows 8 and Windows RT tablets. And potentially complicates the story even further for consumers.
      If this tablet is clearly not a PC and it does not have the Xbox brand name then I will be pissed.
     
    Look this is pretty simple MS, for all of your products from now on:
     
    Windows = computing
    Xbox = entertainment
     
    If this is a simple locked down consumption device meant to take on Kindle Fire or iPad then call it Xbox something. Don't allow there to be any confusion with Windows 8 tablets. And don't try to create a new brand identity when you've already established Xbox as your entertainment brand and have started expanding the Xbox brand to encompass music and video.
     
  • Maybe I'm in the minority but I think of a tablet as more of a computing device than a gaming device. I feel like if they called it x(whatever), too many people will think it's just a portable gaming device
  • Well one of Microsoft's primary goals is to have consumers associate Xbox with more than just games. So having a tablet that does more than just games furthers the cause of Xbox Music and Xbox Video.
  • I agree with this, so would be happy with a naming convention such as xSlate what is a little confusing is the Windows Phone maybe this should become xMobile. I think the phone has not benefited from the Windows brand being applied to it.
  • I will probably still go with the Nokia device... Everything they make is beautiful and there's also a lot of exclusive apps and stuff... But it's very tempting since I've been waiting to buy my first tablet
  • You're welcome, fellas. I'm glad I could tip you guys on the story
  • Don't forget I gave you the inside scoop! :-P
  • Still not sure its gonna be a tablet they announce but time will tell. All this speculation is bound to leave people disappointed whatever the outcome.
  • i dont know what to save my money for now....an apollo phone? a hybrid win8 tablet? and now this...god i want them all:((
  • God only wants you to want god only. Denied
  • lol this situation sometimes drive me crazy too
    if you have windows phone go for windows 8 tablet two different items better than one :)
  • > What makes the situation difficult is how Microsoft's OEM partners will react--after all, they'll be competing with their own team, so to speak.
    Well, maybe if OEMs did not put all that crapware and bloatware on laptops and cripple user experience...
    I'd love MS branded laptopts and tablets, getting sick of those free 30 day noront antivirus 2001 trials. OEMs are the ones who destroyed pc brand
  • If it weren't for all that crapware, PCs would probably cost a good $200 more. That software allows the OEMs to price their stuff lower, and considering how ridiculously easy it is to format your new PC and start from scratch, I prefer this
  • +1 for a nerd solution. But he does have a point for the masses
  • I second ms branded hardware. A few months ago I bought an hp PC from the Microsoft store. It was optimized by Microsoft, meaning they removed all the bloatware and tweaked the system. It is by far the best experience I've had with a new piece of hardware.
  • Also, Microsoft has amazing engineers and designers, no idea why everyone shouts Nokia, nokia, nokia.
    Arc mouse, natural keyboards, etc... All look incredible and are made by MS
  • It's because you don't see much of Microsoft marketing their hardware as heavily as their software, and that is because they're software first and hardware second. Nokia is the other way around, which is why you see more marketing of their hardware than their software.
  • Prediction: it will be called something boring and not catchy like Xbox Tablet or Xbox Touch.
  • Le table ;-)
  • Like I always say on here IN THE WORDS OF MCDYS IM LOVIN IT LOL
  • Microsoft Surface Slate
  • running Microsoft Windows for Portable Touch Devices 2012 R2 Home Premium Edition with Service Pack 1
  • Don't be silly, Service Pack 1 is still a good 6 months away ;)
  • I want nokia lumia tablet. This is what i want:)
  • Tablets are uninteresting to me. Still stoked about Wednesday! Bring on Apollo!!!
  • I kind of like the idea of having 2. A 10" geared more toward computing called Windows Tablet. A 7" geared more toward gaming called X Tablet
  • I hope this won't be a developers's tablet.
  • Wing - showing flying windows logo - sounds like Bing and it has win.. No? Well, whatever it is, I'm sure it will take flight :]
  • How about Bina? Because it's not apple
  • It will be called Windows Fun after the much successful predecessor Windows Phone.
  • Seriously, I hope they dont have retarded names moving forward. They should've dropped windows and phone from windows phone 7 and just called it 7
  • 7 what? Is that how many you get?? It looks like a smartphone but they're just calling it Seven...isn't that a movie??? =P
  • Also Georges planned name for his firstborn in Seinfeld
  • I hope there will be a official webcast.
  • i hope so i'll be watching it for sure
  • It will be big boooom !!!
  • Hehehe lol :)
  • Winsoft!
  • I always thought that windows phone shouldve been called the xbone.
  • Just to contradict what I said earlier,  a Nokia tablet for Microsoft, featuring Xbox services, and Barnes and Noble store, launching on Verizon!
     
  • Surprised nobody has speculated that this is a new Nook. Microsoft did just become a partner with Barnes & Noble.
  • +1
    This will be a media consumption device like the Kindle Fire. It will useo Nook for ebooks and have XBox Music/Video. It will play XBLA games and be the first to use smart glass. It will be named xPad, xTab or xNook. 
  • I truly hope it has nothing to do with Nook. Nook is a POS compared to Kindle. Nook is still US (& Canada?) only and therefore pointless. Kindle has been worldwide for years, works on all devices, and there's been a Kindle WP7 app since day 1. I'm so sick of the US-centric services and the rest of the world gets the scraps. I'm still waiting for stock features to be added to my phone, like Bing Vision translation... I'm in an English speaking country so why can't we translate to English? Even if it is misspelled US English, at least we'd get something!
  • Sorry for the rant
  • After Nokia showing us what great software they are bundling with their phones it would be stupid to buy anything else than a Nokia tablet this autumn. That is if the other manufacturers don't have a great suit of software to offer, but I can't see that happen...
  • That's assuming that Nokia even exists this autumn.
  • It's stupid to assume that Nokia is the only option
  • I have the answer to all of your questions, but I'm drunk, so you'll have to wait.
  • Nice! I'll have some insightful thoughts after I down my next Amber Bock, too!
  • "Microsoft's Windows Tablet 8" This might be obvious but that's exactly what Microsoft needs. No time and room to play fancy here.
    This name will appeal a larger group all over the world. Every one knows Microsoft, everyone knows windows. Now they will know they make tablets too. thus, they can keep going 9, 10, 11 as they upgrade. After all , We put up with 95 and 98 and 2000 didn't we? ;)
  • I hope it's not Microsoft underwear...Quagmire laugh :0)
  • They should call it Metro. Then they should watch Iron Man and develop a voice assistance called Jarvis (licensing may be required)
  • Totally forgot about using this, Metro is a good area to work in...I'm sure Hal is available? =P
  • LOL
  • So I would assume that if this is a Nexus like device then others manufacturers will have their own skin which is what they've been asking for.
  • This is awesome, :-) they should call it MyPad. If they call it XPad people may get confused and think it is for only the Xbox.
    My two cents :-)
  • Uh no. Pad = 'feminine hygiene product' and "MyPad" is just grotty :P "iPad" is already hysterical ;)
  • ^ When I read "Mypad" I thought the same thing.
  • Let us hope they don't call it the Kin Tablet
  • Let us hope they don't call it the Kin Tablet
  • Kin Tablet is unlikely.
     ' F'Kin Tablet ' however, is the moneyshot.
  • Finally
  • Let us pray that Microsoft has learned from Blackberry and HP how NOT to launch a new tablet: a half baked product at an iPad price. If they can up the ante and not wimp out on the hardware they just might have a hit.
  • HP and Blackberry have/had no developer story, Microsoft has this part nailed already. Thank goodness!
  • "What makes the situation difficult is how Microsoft's OEM partners will react"
     
    Nah. They all jumped on the android bandwagon so they can get stuffed
  • Lol, that is funny. If the OEM's cannot make a better product than what Microsoft is releasing why would microsoft want them to make anything at all?
     
    From what I have heard so far all the WindowsRT tablets by HTC are being denied by Microsoft because they are not good enough. Seems MS is maybe being forced by the OEM's into this position.
  • If this is true and they do announce it; it will need one crucial feature: high resolution display. THAT is what tech sites will immediately swarm over should it be standard run of the mill. I don't think they'll do a repeat of that horrid Zune marketing either. Hey MS, ball(mer)'s in your court. :D
  • MiPad (read my pad), the Start Slate, SmaRT Tab(let)...or maybe they'll answer my prayers and make an Xbox branded media player anyways and call it the...uh, x-pod? =P
  • OH! How about Windows Party?! It sounds like Windows RT but gives you all sorts of ideas!!! =]~)
  • Windows PaRTy...ok fine! It was a stoopids idea =/
  • You have to assume Nokia is involved. The "Nokia US" Facebook page, just posted this http://imgur.com/jEjjR
  • Looks like Nokia 808 announcement to me as for Nokia
  • I'm having a talk with my wallet later today.
  • Just give me my damn Audible app already!
  • I think MS and Nokia will be debuting a new tablet. It's been rumored that Nokia has been working on a tablet. Plus MS debuted a tablet at E3. The era of SmartGlass is upon us.
  • I think "will take on the iPad" is hype im expecting it to take on the kindle fire. Microsoft has has enough time to study the IPad  and develop a superior product. I really hope it it better and showcases the new Windows 8 Logo. Also, It has to be ready to ship by August so that college students can purchase it in time for school!!! If not Apple will sell a ton again with back to school shopping approaching us!
  • Whatever it's called, it needs to be easy to say. After all, we know the the consumer market (aka iSheep) aren't the smartest herd.
  • I think they should present the Xslate and the xTV as direct concurrent for iPad and iTV.
    So it least in the TV sector they wouldn't be three years behind. And they also need to present their A.I. "X-arah" that is integrated in all devices and your personal assistant anywhere, everytime... Hmm for the women they could call the A.I. "X-oro", as an attractive male A.I. ^^...
    The A.I. Doesn't only have a voice, no you can create your own virtual little helper with a sympathic face and body
    ..
  • Mine would be a paper clip with big eyes or maybe a little cartoon dog. That'd be pretty unique, eh?
  • If it's an iPad competitor it has to be 10'. The price will be key. Cannot be identical to iPad or it is DOA.
  • Even if it looked identical to the iPad, it would NOT be DOA, because Windows 8 is innovative and beautiful.
  • I meant price. It can look the same but it cannot cost the same.
  • What's it gonna be, what's it gonna be? Give us something JUICY Microsoft, and I'll be in line release day! I've been increasingly rabidly lusting after a Win8 tab - only question was whose it would be. Was thinking Nokia - but if there really is an MS branded slate coming..?! C'mon MS, don't disappoint.. Blow our minds - and get that Thunder Rolling!
  • If it's a tablet I am all ears, love my Touchpad (got it for real cheap) but if it wasn't for the low price of the Touchpad Firesale I was waiting for a Win8 tablet!
  • All the photos Nokia U.S is posing looks like the 808 is coming:)
  • Maybe we will then understand what RT really means. Because "Runtime" doesn't make a lot of sense for an OS version. I can imagine that the name has RT in it, just like Office 2013 RT.
    And I think they will start Xbox Music, SmartGlass and Office 2012 betas on monday alongside their new tablet.
  • I bet for PCTab
  • Don't you think something would have leaked by now about this? Doubt it's anything hardware related.
  • Introducing the MIcrosoft X-rated-  Live Tiles created especially for touch. Work your way in from the top, bottom and sides. Let my charms work their magic on every sinsation you have. Microsoft X-rated - you won't be able to let go...
  • Good idea but but it should have that bit extra good looks is very important I would love windows tablets with logo at the back
  • The the maXpad, or maXipad. Lol
  • I don't think they should use the word "pad" or X anywhere in the name. A unique distinctive name would be better. IPad, is easy, but so obvious. Maybe obvious is key. Maybe not. I mean, Xbox, Wii and look how they did. /shrug
  • If there's one thing I know about Microsoft making their own hardware, it's that they ARE capable of creating beautiful designs! Long live the Zune HD! :`)
  • I expect they will name it something boring like "MS Windows 8 Tablet"
  • I am thrilled by the metro UI and live tiles, this is just how a tablet should look like. A quality build and rich specifications will make it a tablet of choice.
    As for name, I think "WinTab"
  • What time will the the mistery be unveild?
  • Any news..?
  • It's gonna have to be pretty special if they wish to topple the iPad...