Microsoft's announcement of its own-brand Surface tablet devices appears to have had an immediate impact on the plans of vendor partners, with HP disclosing that it will focus solely on x86-based PC tablets for Windows 8.
Windows 8, which is in the final stages of development, is targeting both x86 processors from Intel and AMD, and the more power efficient ARM chips, which drive the majority of tablet devices currently on the market.
Vendors such as HP, Dell and others hoping to make greater headway into the tablet market have previously intimated their keenness to introduce tablets based on the ARM version of Windows 8, now officially known as Windows RT.
However, following Microsoft's surprise announcement of its own Surface devices, HP has now stated it will focus on x86-based systems for the business market, at least initially.
A HP representative told newswire Bloomberg that this decision was made following input from the company's customers.
"The robust and established ecosystem of x86 applications provides the best customer experience at this time and in the immediate future," the representative is quoted as saying.
Nevertheless, many of Microsoft's vendor partners are reported to have been taken aback by the news of its Surface devices, which the software giant kept under wraps up until the announcement. It seems likely that at least some will now rethink their plans.
Toshiba and Asus are said to be lining up ARM-based tablets based on Windows RT, but others may be considering other platforms.
Fujitsu has recently launched an Android-based business tablet, and refused to be drawn on whether it was planning ARM-based or x86-based systems for Windows 8.
Dell also declined to shed any further light on its tablet plans, a representative telling V3 only that: "Microsoft is a very important partner to Dell and we look forward to continuing that partnership and building upon it with the upcoming launch of Windows 8."
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