HP to focus on Intel-based Windows 8 tablets for business

Windows 8

HP is set to focus on building Windows 8 business tablets that run on Intel's x86 architecture.

The PC maker has no plans to offer the cheaper ARM-based devices, but hasn't ruled out releasing future tablets with Windows RT, it said in a statement.

"Our first Win 8 tablet will be on the x86 platforms focused on the business market. The decision to go with x86 was influenced by input from our customers," a spokesperson said in statement.

"The robust and established ecosystem of x86 applications provides the best customer experience at this time and in the immediate future."

The decision by HP could be a blow to Microsoft as it looks to break Apple's tablet market stranglehold.

Microsoft has traditionally licensed out of its software to partners, but has announced it will release its own-branded Surface tablets later this year. The move seems to have irked OEMs, such as HP, although the firm insists the decision was made before Surface was debuted.

The Intel-based machines are set to be more expensive than tablets powered by ARM, so the lack of vendor support may stifle mainstream adoption.

The launch of Windows 8 tablets could also be overshadowed by the release of a new iPad at a similar time.

Apple is said to be gearing up to release a cut-down version of the iPad, with screen size between 7-8 ins, according to Bloomberg.

The smaller iPad would go into direct competition with the Google Nexus 7, which is due to launch in mid-July and the Amazon Kindle Fire, which is already available in the US.

If Apple matches the sub 200 price point of the competing devices, it is likely to continue dominating the market at the expense of Android and Windows devices.

Khidr Suleman is the Technical Editor at IT Pro, a role he has fulfilled since March 2012. He is responsible for the reviews section on the site  - so get in touch if you have a product you think might be of interest to the business world. He also covers the hardware and operating systems beats. Prior to joining IT Pro, Khidr worked as a reporter at Incisive Media. He studied law at the University of Reading and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism and Online Writing at PMA Training.