According to Electronista, Microsoft has something really sweet here. It's a four-core tablet running Windows 8. I suppose it makes sense to try to leap ahead or at least keep up with the next generation Android tablet. and iPad next year.
It's likely using Tegra 3 from Nvidia that is slated for release later this year. And with Windows 8 tablets going to be big at CES in January of 2012, Redmond might as well use the latest and greatest. But actual release is not going to happen until spring of 2012.
This gives Android and the iPad a lot of time to further entrench the tablet market.
Still, it's good to see Microsoft ready to take the gloves off. ZDNet has more details but they're writing is as confusing as mine. Especially the part about Windows 8 tablet ready at end of 2011 but no release until 2012. Perhaps, they're not sure about their information.
However, there is an ASUS Transformer that is confirmed to ship in 2012 running Windows 8.
The impact on mobile warriors when Windows 8 tablets enter the market is obvious. As in obviously exciting because Apple and Google's Android partners will have to respond in mind. The iPad dominates the market and is expected to get mucho competition, more so than what they're getting now.
So far, Android tablets have largely failed to catch up on with consumers. Perhaps name recognition will help Windows tablet do better. Microsoft is slated to open many retail locations to match Apple's retail footprint, some even directly across from Apple stores.
However, the iPad should continue to dominate for a while. The greatest threat from a resurgent Microsoft is Google. Perhaps this is why Google bought Motorola at a time when they did and paid a 60% premium for it. I surmise that Microsoft quite possibly was ready to strike a deal with Motorola Mobility not only use Windows Phone but also Windows 8 in its next Xoom tablet.
Source: Electronista, ZDNet, Slashgear.