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windows 8Microsoft is reportedly in talks with manufacturers to launch a Windows 8 tablet with its own branding, effectively creating an official Microsoft tablet, supply chain sources tell the Taiwanese news site Digitimes reports.

Microsoft didn’t confirm the rumor, but an official Windows 8 tablet from the company certainly isn’t out of the question. It would simplify tablet decision-making for consumers, and it would give Microsoft its own product to directly counter the iPad.

The company is still aiming to work with other computer makers to deliver their own Windows 8-powered tablets, but you can bet that they won’t take too kindly to an official Microsoft tablet. The situation sounds reminiscent of the fiasco surrounding Microsoft’s PlaysForSure partners, who developed Microsoft-approved media devices that were superseded by Microsoft’s own Zune players.

Microsoft officially announced Windows 8 last week, which aims to combine the company’s traditional desktop environment with a slick new tablet user interface.

The tablet would also put Microsoft in a spot between Apple and Google: Apple offers its own tablet, while Google is working with third-parties to develop Android tablets. For Microsoft, having its own tablet could give it the benefits of both approaches (though it does bring up new potential issues).

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