There is speculation that Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is planning to launch its own branded tablet running Windows 8. It is expected to unveil a flagship Windows 8 tablet on June 18, at an event for which it sent out invites last week. Microsoft’s Windows 8 tablet will compete with Apple‘s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad and Google‘s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android tablets. 
Deviating from its usual strategy
Microsoft typically doesn’t dabble with its own hardware, at least when it comes to PCs and notebooks. However, it has had quite a bit of success in the gaming console space with the Xbox and the Kinect. So far, it has depended on hardware partners like Nokia, Samsung, HTC and others in the smartphone space; but, given the high stakes in the tablet market and because it may already be a bit too late to the market, Microsoft may not be willing to depend completely on its partners this time.
But is it a good move?
While Microsoft may no doubt produce a stellar device showcasing the potential of Windows 8, it may not be the wisest move considering that it will still have to work with its hardware partners to drive sales. It could face a significant backlash and may scare away some of its tablet partners who may not want to compete with Microsoft directly and may gravitate to some alternate tablet platform like Android.
Nonetheless, by selling its own tablet, Microsoft would have more control over the tablet experience. But its model would be more like Google’s experiment with Nexus devices than Apple’s iDevices. We will see more details on Monday, but it is definitely an interesting move, considering Windows 8 is going to be Microsoft’s most crucial release in years and that Windows accounts for nearly 25% of the company’s overall value.
We currently have a $40 Trefis price estimate for Microsoft, which stands nearly 30% above its market price.Notes:
- Microsoft manufacturing tablet to rival Apple iPad, The Wrap [↩]