Although Apple’s iPad appears to have the untouchable magic formula that Android vendors have thus far failed miserably to replicate, there’s certainly a feeling of optimism regarding future Windows 8 tablets. Given that the Metro interface of Microsoft’s much-lauded universal OS seems to be the perfect suitor to the post-PC devices, the Redmond-based software outfit is regarded by many as a major threat to Apple’s dominance in the market it started only two years back.

Apple further outlined its authority in March by adding LTE, a gorgeous Retina display and quad-core graphics with the third iPad, which served as a nail in the coffin to all recent “competition”, but Windows 8 is completely dissimilar to iOS and Android, and with consumers also stoked about the desktop and smartphone versions (Apple’s co-founder Steve Wozniak reckons it’s the best ecosystem out), the Cupertino-based company should certainly be worried.

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While ASUS is purported to be one manufacturer of the the Windows 8 tabs, Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer already has an 80-inch tablet hanging from a wall in his office, report Wired. Widely regarded as a liability to the world’s largest and most influential software distributor, he also has the unwanted accolade as the worst CEO in the game. Still, if I has a tablet eclipsing the size of any HD TV on the market in my office, I’d probably be too preoccupied to care.

The blogs got themselves a bit carried away earlier today with rumors Microsoft was to retail the device – only for the company to quash the rumors by explicitly stating this was not the case, so whilst I’m sure most of you wouldn’t mind having such a colossal device in your living room, don’t expect it to be happening any time soon. However, Microsoft did state that vendors would have a vast range of use cases for Windows 8 hardware, so it will be interesting to see what they come up with.

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Despite playing catch-up on the tablet front versus two very established mobile operating systems, it wouldn’t be far-fetched to pitch Windows 8 tablets as dominating the market in years to come. It has already knocked Apple from its perch in the significant, fast-growing Chinese market as far as smartphones go, and if the Windows 8 tablets prove to be as eye-opening as the Lumia range of Nokia’s, it will be a riveting, compelling three-way battle.

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