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Microsoft tablet OS to see light of day in 'autumn 2012'

Ballmer does the three-toed sloth dance

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Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer was given a gentle kick up the backside late last year by the company's board, after he failed to move quickly enough against Apple’s iPad and lost market share in the mobile phone and tablet biz.

Despite all that, a Bloomberg Business Week report is suggesting that Redmond is taking its sweet (or perhaps sour) time to push out a tablet OS to rival Cupertino, which earlier this week announced its iPad 2 tech plans.

While Apple and, to a lesser extent, Google are forging ahead with their fondleslab strategies, Microsoft apparently plans to wait until the 2012 back-to-school season before hitting the release button, according to the news agency.

Citing people with knowledge of the plans, Bloomberg reported that public testing of Windows 8 would get underway towards the end of this year, which roughly fits in with Microsoft's typical operating system roadmap.

More interestingly, if the report is accurate it offers a possible insight into Microsoft's tablet mindset, as it seemingly suggests that the company doesn't have faith in running its existing Windows 7 operating system on the increasingly popular touchscreen devices.

As the Bloomberg report noted, MS is trying to update its current OS to enable it to work better with touch screen kit. Microsoft is also attempting to fine tune the operating system to cope with the size and battery life of tablet machines.

In January, Microsoft said that its next version of Windows would run on ARM systems using system-on-a-chip (SoC) architectures from NVIDIA, Qualcomm, and Texas Instruments. Those chips are typically slotted into smartphones and tablets. ®

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