In a slide intended for investors at its Q3 2011 Investors Conference only, Asus has leaked its tablet plans for the future and they look pretty darn exciting. In addition to the Transformer Prime, which is expected to launch this month, the company also plans to launch at least one tablet powered by Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 8 operating system during late 2012.
There may actually be more than one Windows 8 device, since the slide mentions two “hero products” launching between July and September — the company’s third quarter — under the “Windows market” heading. And according to a ZDNet report, which explains that “WoA” stands for “Windows on ARM,” the slates are likely to run on ARM architecture. “GTM” under the same section stands for “go to market,” however, it’s the mention “ticket for selling Windows 8” which is most interesting.
One of my contacts familiar with Microsoft’s OEM policies and procedures e-mailed me his take on Asus’ slide. The “ticket” reference, he says, “means they are a premiere partner.”
“They get first access to Win8. Q3’12 is likely the earliest a hardware OEM can release Win8. If they aren’t part of the ‘WoA Alliance,’ they’d get second dibs on access to Win8 which would delay their rollout until after RTM launch,” he said. He also wondered whether the ARM version may be available to partners earlier, as it will be an OEM-only deliverable.
In addition to new Windows tablets, the slide reveals that the company’s much-anticipated Transformer Prime tablet, which we’ve heard a lot about recently, will launch this month — possibly on November 9. Asus also has plans to launch two new Android tablets during the first three months of 2012, which are likely to pop up at CES in Las Vegas in January.
Technical details on the devices are sparse at this point, but the slide claims that all of the upcoming devices will “focus on innovation and product perfection,” which makes them sound very exciting indeed.
Will you be looking forward to the Transformer Prime or one of Asus’ Windows 8 tablets most?