HP Slate 8 Tablet Thinner Than iPad, Runs Windows 8

An image of HP's Slate 8 tablet, running Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system and offering long battery life, hits the Web.

With the upcoming release of Microsoft€™s Windows 8 operating system, it€™s small wonder that images and information about notebooks, PCs and tablets are starting to leak onto the Web. The latest €œleak€ concerns Hewlett-Packard€™s Slate 8 tablet, an image and info of which were posted on the tech site Neowin. The iPad challenger will reportedly be thinner than Apple€™s tablet, boast a 10.1-inch screen and offer battery life of 8 to 10 hours. Windows 8 will run on both x86 and ARM processors, and will be supported on PCs and tablets.

Based on the screen grab posted on the site, the tablet will also offer HP€™s ProtectTools software, which can be configured to prevent unauthorized access using Smart Cards, TPM Embedded security chips, USB tokens and other security technologies; multitouch or digital pen input; enterprise-level docking; support for Computrace (Absolute Software€™s suite that helps organizations track, manage and secure their computers and the data they contain); and an outdoor viewing option.

One thing not shown on the slide is a price: With Apple€™s expensive but alluring iPad dominating the tablet market, it€™s up to the competition to find the right combination of value and performance. As the market for tablet computers expands, there will certainly be more efforts from OEMs like HP, Samsung and others to chip away at Apple€™s market lead. A recent report from Futuresource Consulting says tablet sales are expected to increase by 200 percent over the next two years and tablet apps will account for 20 percent of mobile apps by 2016.

Forrester Research expects iPads and other tablets to become the preferred, primary device for millions of people, according to an April 23 blog post by company analyst Frank Gillett. By 2016, the research firm expects global tablet sales to reach 375 million units, with one-third purchased by businesses and two-fifths (or 40 percent) by emerging markets. By that time, the firm expects the global installed base of tablets to be 760 million units strong.

Microsoft, looking to tap into the market with the latest, touch-based version of its Windows operating system, will deliver another prerelease version of the highly anticipated Windows 8 OS in June, the company announced earlier this month. Steven Sinofsky, president of Microsoft€™s Windows unit, made the announcement at a Windows Developer Days event in Japan and tweeted it on the Build Windows 8 Twitter feed. Sinofsky said Microsoft will deliver a Windows 8 €œRelease Preview€ in the first week of June. The Release Preview edition of Windows 8 will follow the Windows 8 Consumer Preview now available to users as a beta release. Microsoft delivered the consumer preview Feb. 29.