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Intel and Microsoft are jointly touting a new Wintel-based platform for tablet PCs, raising hopes among tablet PC vendors that they may be able to compete more effectively with Apple with models other than ARM/Android-based products, Taiwan’s DigiTimes news service reportsDigiTimes sources say the first of these new Wintel tablets are due in 2012. The move follows failure of devices like Samsung’s Galaxy Tab or Motorola’s Xoom Android devices to make a significant impact on the market.

Windows 8 is reportedly designed from the ground up to work with “touch-only” tablets as well as devices with keyboard and mouse. The same operating system would be installed on touch devices such as tablets as well as on conventional devices such as laptops and PCs.

DigiTimes says most non-iPad tablet vendors have been frustrated by the lower-than-expected performance of their tablet PCs built with ARM/Android. While attributing the slow sales to the instability of Android and the strong brand image that Apple enjoys, some vendors have also begun mulling new strategies to strengthen their competitiveness.

Intel and Microsoft have reportedly recently revealed a roadmap for the Wintel platform to production partners. The new platform is expected to involve a low-power – less than 5 watts – CPU from Intel, paired with Microsoft’s Windows 8 OS.

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