Great, another tablet you'll never buy

Nokia is reportedly gearing up for a Microsoft-powered model.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Mar 13, 2012 12:45PM

By Rick Aristotle Munarriz


The Windows partnership between Nokia (NOK) and Microsoft (MSFT) apparently isn't limited to smartphones.


Taiwan's DigiTimes -- the tech trade publication that usually has a good read on what contract manufacturers are working on throughout Asia -- reports that the Finnish handset maker is working on a Microsoft-fueled tablet that may hit the market as early as the fourth quarter of this year.


Right away you may be thinking of Nokia blowing up the Windows Phone operating system that it's incorporating into its latest smartphones for a 10-inch tablet, but you're going the wrong way. This will apparently be a Windows 8 experience, making this a true tablet PC.


Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOG) may be shaking their heads. Apple leans on the same iOS that it uses on its iPod touch and iPhone devices to power its iPads. It wouldn't dream of making the iPad run on the potentially clunky Mac operating system. Google is all about its open source Android platform when it comes to its market-leading smartphones and silver-medal tablets.


However, Windows 8 has been pitched from the onset as a tablet-friendly operating system. Sure, it'll obviously work well on desktops and laptops, but its potential as a game changer rests largely on the success of tablet PCs.


Desktop and laptop sales have stalled over the past year, just as "good enough" computing in the form of tablets and smartphones is booming. Microsoft is reportedly shelling out billions to get Nokia to champion its mobile operating system platform, but it's in the tablet space that Microsoft has a better chance of making a dent against Apple and Google.


Tablets are being used mostly for viewing video clips, surfing the Web, and playing apps. There are certainly some people relying on tablets for productivity suites, but there's a reason why the world's largest software company hasn't put out official Microsoft Office apps for iOS and Android devices. There were plenty of rumors pointing to an Office announcement earlier this month when Apple introduced the new iPad, but Mr. Softy appears to be protecting its flagship suite for a reason.


If Microsoft can hold out long enough for Windows 8 tablets, the devices would be logical purchases for regular users of Word and Excel. Sure, there are plenty of iOS and Android apps that allow users to interact with Office files, but nothing beats the real deal. (Microsoft owns and publishes Top Stocks, an MSN Money site.)


If Nokia wants in, it better not be late. Windows 8 itself should be out later this year, though there is no firm release date. Nokia was late to the smartphone party with an operating system that consumers actually want, and it's been paying the price for that with a share price in the single digits. If Windows-powered tablets are the next big thing, Nokia needs to arrive early.


Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, Google, and Microsoft. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Microsoft, Nokia, Apple, and Google. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a bull call spread position in Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a bull call spread position in Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


Mar 13, 2012 1:12PM
confused. Your title says "Great --another tablet you'll never buy", yet your articles seems very positive about the prospects of windows 8 based tablets. 

Whats your stance?
Mar 13, 2012 3:27PM

One of the downsides/upsides of the web. Everyone is a journalist. These headlines are just dumb. So are half the info the the articles, the facts and not fully disclosed, nor is is the statisitical  economic data.


I plan to buy the "new ipad" aka ipad3 next week, and then sell it when some competive Windows * tablets arrive.The Windows * OS is just super elegant, and I am excited about it. I like iOS too, but it's somewhat stale now, but does have a lot more to offer in terms of apps. I'm not married to any ecosystem-the game is still early!  All my music is DRM free, sure I may have to replace a few apps, but so what!  Change and varity can be good.


Mar 13, 2012 11:26PM
"It wouldn't dream of making the iPad run on the potentially clunky Mac operating system." That clunky Mac operating system is Unix you idiot. And iOS is Linux which is also where Android came from.  You obviously don't know squat about operating systems. WP7 runs better, smoother and quicker, on single core Qualcomm processor than either Android or iOS. Windows 8 will do the same and it will support 2-4 core ARM and X86 processors. Nokia has an opportunity to do some really cool things since Microsoft will support them and other hardware vendors much more closely than Google can ever think of doing.
Mar 13, 2012 1:58PM
Smile I'll stick to pen and papers thank you. It's simpler less stressful easier to read and it's cheaper.
Mar 13, 2012 8:19PM
I'm excited about the Windows 8 tablet and if Nokia builds tablets anything like they build their phones, I'm in.

IOS and Android work well but are sort of a big-yawn for me. I downloaded the Windows 8 preview and really like it. 
Mar 14, 2012 12:42AM
Why won't I buy it?  Windows 8 tablets will be mobile computers that actually have the funtionality of desktop PC's (unlike ipads).  It's what the mmarket has been waiting for.

(you would think MSN would be bias towards Micrsoft.  I guess this shows just how twisted the tech media really is)
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