Less than one week after Apple launched its third-generation tablet to some three million opening weekend sales, it can't possibly seem like an inviting time to be a competitor in the tablet marketplace. Fortunately for Microsoft, plenty of time remains for the new iPad to cool off before the software giant unleashes its forthcoming tablets this fall.

According to the rumor mill Wednesday, Microsoft will release its new Windows 8 tablets in September or October. Digitimes says today that Samsung Electronics, Sony, Toshiba, Lenovo, Acer and Asustek will all launch Windows 8 on ARM (WoA) tablet PCs within the next twelve months, with some of those offerings likely to turn up much sooner.

"In line with Microsoft's release of Windows 8 in September-October," Digitimes says, "first-tier vendors including Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Lenovo, Acer and Asustek Computer are developing x86-based tablets for launch in October, according to Taiwan-based supply chain makers."

The rumor-friendly report once again claims that Apple will probably launch another 9.7-inch iPad in October in a move that could undercut the Windows 8 tablets coming into the market at that time. Then again, a lot of things can happen - and a lot of rumors can change - between now and this fall.

Source: Digitimes