Asus is reportedly gearing up to ship a massive number of tablets in 2012…running Windows 8
Asus is expecting to ship about 6 million tablet PCs in 2012, at least according to a new report in DigiTimes.
That’s a significant rise from 2011, when the company shipped approximately 1.8 million tablets. It also seems wildly optimistic, given the anaemic sales of non-iPad tablets over the previous year. However, Asus and other hardware manufacturers have a potential ace up their sleeves in the market-share battle against Apple: namely Windows 8.
“As for the recent report that [Asus] was not invited into the Windows on ARM (WOA) development project, [Asus] noted that it has the strongest R&D ability among notebook vendors and is the largest client of Nvidia,” read DigiTimes’ 6 December report. “Therefore, the company will continue to have tight partnership with ARM-based processor makers over development of the WOA platform.”
For nearly a year, Microsoft has touted how the upcoming Windows 8 will support system-on-a-chip (SoC) architecture, in particular ARM-based systems from Nvidia and other manufacturers. That architecture powers a majority of mobile devices currently on the market, making such support a crucial element in Microsoft’s plan to put Windows 8 on tablets.
Asus is prepping Windows 8 tablets before the end of 2012, at least according to a corporate slideshow that was leaked in October. One slide from that deck suggests Asus will offer a “ticket for selling Windows 8 tablets in Q3’12” alongside “2 hero products GTM in Q3’12.”
While that language made Asus’ Windows strategy somewhat unclear, it nonetheless hinted that the company will produce two Windows 8 tablets in the third quarter of 2012. If verified, that would align with rumours that Windows 8 will appear in a broad-based release closer to the end of next year; Windows XP and Windows 7, Microsoft’s two most successful Windows versions, both arrived on store shelves in October of their respective release years.
Windows 8 Push
So is Asus expecting to ship massive amounts of Windows 8 tablets in 2012? The DigiTimes report, in conjunction with those slides indicating a range of Windows 8 devices in the making, suggests such a course. Certainly, other manufacturers, including Dell and Hewlett-Packard, are prepping their own Windows 8 touch-screens for a wide release.
In a bid to recapture a portion of the tablet market from Apple’s iPad, Microsoft is optimising Windows 8 for touch-screens in addition to traditional PCs, with an interface featuring sets of colourful, touchable tiles linked to applications.
Users can also flip to a Windows-style desktop interface.