Considering that the tablet-friendly Windows 8 is still nowhere near finished, Microsoft certainly is leaving it late getting into this whole tablet thing.
Yet the company's tablet ambitions may extend to more than just software, it seems. According to Taiwanese industry paper DigiTimes, Microsoft is considering releasing a Microsoft-branded tablet running a Texas Instruments processor.
Microsoft is no stranger to the world of mobile hardware, having produced the ill-fated Kin smartphone just last year. But despite the Kin having completely failed to gain any kind of foothold whatsoever, it looks like Microsoft is ready to give it another go.
DigiTimes' sources reckon Microsoft is looking more at its success with the Xbox brand for inspiration, and is hoping to have a tablet – running Windows 8, naturally – on the shelves by the end of next year.
The supply chain sources say the slate is being lined up to use Texas Instruments silicon – potentially the dual-core 1.8GHz OMAP4470 chip announced last week, which is reportedly designed specifically with Windows 8 in mind and is set to be available in the first half of next year.
It remains to be seen how Microsoft's existing hardware partners will react to a Microsoft-branded slate running Windows 8 going head-to-head with their own tablets. But the company will no doubt look at Google's Nexus smartphones as proof that the concept can work – provided you're not too ambitious about it.