Microsoft remains coy ahead of expected launch of new tablet

MICROSOFT is widely expected to unveil a tablet device today after inviting media to a “major” announcement.

The tech giant refused to give further details, except to say: “you will not want to miss it.”

The secretive invitation is possibly an attempt to emulate Apple-style excitement around the launch of a new product. Sources close to the matter have said Microsoft is intending to take on its more successful hardware rivals by releasing its own tablet.

The announcement would not come as a huge surprise, as Microsoft has already unveiled its new tablet-friendly Windows RT operating system – a version of the soon-to-be released Windows 8 – which is compatible with the ARM chips found in most mobile devices.

Microsoft has more traditionally worked with Intel, the processor typically used to power computers.

While Microsoft’s strength lies in software – Windows is by far the most prevalent computer operating system – this would not be Microsoft’s first foray into hardware.

The Xbox games console stands as a credible rival to the PlayStation and the Wii, created respectively by hardware experts Sony and Nintendo.

However, Microsoft’s portable music player venture, dubbed Zune, was a flop. After discontinuing production of the range last year, the company announced the death of the brand name earlier this month.

Other speculation has pointed towards an unveiling today of Xbox Music, the replacement for Zune.