Microsoft might launch a version of Windows tailored for Tablet PCs next year, according to sources close to the situation, quoted by Bloomberg.
Public tests for the new version of Windows will start later this year, sources indicated.
Microsoft is working to adapt the operating system Windows 7 for its use on Tablet PCs. But since the launch is delayed, Microsoft competitors, including Apple and Google, will enhance their market position, notes Bloomberg.
“If 2011 is the year of the tablet wars, Microsoft will be awfully late suiting up for that battle,” said Michael Gartenberg, a New Jersey-based analyst. “It’s not a good position to be in.”
IPad Tablets, Apple’s and those of Google based on Android, will reach the third generation in 2012, he said. Until then, Hewlett-Packard and Research In Motion will also launch the second generation of PCs.
Competition on the segment of tablets is becoming fiercer, given that this year alone over 100 new models will hit the market.
Apple introduced the second version of the iPad this week, more than a year after launching the first model. The company has sold 14.8 million units of the first item in December.
Deadlines for launching new versions of Windows are changed often, depending on the results of testing and improvements. Windows Vista came out with a two years delay, and Windows 7 a few months earlier.
Microsoft’s operating systems are featured on over 90% of worldwide PCs. Apple holds over 90% of the wafers, the company said.