The rumor mill is working double time this morning, as DigiTimes is reporting that Microsoft is prepping its own brand of Windows 8 tablets, with a little help from Texas Instruments and a number of different Taiwanese OEMs/ODMs. Of course, just a few weeks ago unnamed WSJ sources claimed that Microsoft had plans to pair five chip makers with five OEMs and then slap Windows 8 on five different tablets, so there’s no way to be sure about either rumor at this point.
However, there are a few reasons why this may be a little closer to reality than speculation. For one, Microsoft has fully licensed the ARM chipset design. Of course, that could have something to do with security, as Microsoft needs access to ARM’s architecture in order to bring Windows to ARM-based devices. On the other hand, it might also mean that the tech giant has some new hardware in store for us. After all, Microsoft is no rookie when it comes to craftsmanship, as proven by the Xbox 360 with Kinect and the Zune player.
In addition to that, TI already announced that its brand new 1.8GHz multicore OMAP4470 chipset will fully support Windows 8. While Microsoft is sticking with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processors for its Windows Phone devices, the silicon in TI’s chipsets may be a better match for Windows 8 tablets.
Microsoft has called Windows 8 its “riskiest product bet,” so it would only make sense that the software maker would take things into its own hands. Especially since its competitor, Apple, has had such great success by controlling its hardware/software circle about as leniently as a drill sergeant. But there’s no way to know for sure until one of these companies comes forward with an official announcement. Until then, the rumor mill will keep on turning.