Computer makers, Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ ) and Dell Inc.(NASDAQ:DELL), increasingly facing threat from tablet computers are joining the competition with a full-fledged entry into the segment.
Both the companies are set to release tablets that will be running on Microsoft's new operating system Windows RT for tablets, powered by ARM chips.
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The rumours about the two computer giants launching their tablets later this year have been doing the rounds for some time. Dell currently has its Streak tablets, which run on Android, but the company has not been able to make any dent in the tablets segment.
Microsoft is expected to launch its new operating system in October, around the same time that it will release its Windows 8 for PCs.
The Redmond-based software firm has been very choosy about who its hardware partners are and according to rumours only six have made it to the final cut.
Taiwan's HTC Corp, which was one of the contenders, was shut out of the development process as it was deemed not to have enough experience in the tablet segment. Bloomberg was the first to report in June this year that Microsoft had denied HTC, its long-term partner, the right to build products particularly tablets, based on its new operating system.
HP is expected to partner with Texas Instruments and Dell with Qualcomm for its tablets, Digitimes said.
Samsung, Toshiba and Asustek Computer are the other companies rumoured to be readying their devices running on Windows RT.
As tablets get more powerful and able to handle more functions that are currently in the domain of traditional computers, the definition of mobile operating systems is undergoing a change.
Laptops have given way to notebooks and netbooks and now ultra books. The idea is to cram as many functionalities and features as possible into the smallest possible space making it easier for people to conduct their business while on the move.