Dell's foray into tablets with the Streak didn't turn out so well, but the company isn't giving up yet.

Apple’s lead in the tablet market may seem insurmountable, especially with last week’s release of the lastest iPad. But don’t tell that to Dell.

An executive for the giant computer maker was quoted in Reuters today saying that Dell plans a new round of tablets later this year that are based on Microsoft’s Windows 8.

“We’re very encouraged by the touch capability we are seeing in the beta versions of Windows 8,” Dell Chief Commercial Officer Steve Felice told Reuters. He added that more announcements will be made about the company’s tablet plans, adding that: “We don’t think that this market is closed off in any way.”

Dell pulled the plug on theAndroid-based tablet, the Streak, last year. But Felice told Reuters that they may reconsider new tablets based on the Google mobile operating system as well.

The tablet market is becoming increasingly important for Microsoft as computer users shift to multiple connected devices, rather than one personal computer on the desktop. In fact, Apple CEO Tim Cook has said recently that he believes tablets will outsell desktop computers in pure unit sales.

“I don’t predict the demise of the PC industry,” Cook said last month. “I don’t subscribe to that. I do believe, given what we’ve seen, that iPad is cannibalizing some Mac and cannibalizing more Windows PCs. There’s many more of them to cannibalize than Macs, and that’s a plus for us. And I think tablets, in general, will cannibalize PCs.”

Previously on GeekWireMicrosoft previews business apps on Windows 8, as iPad rises in business world

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  • Guest

    “Dell looks to challenge the iPad”

    Har har har. 

  • Guest

    Having looked at Windows 8 and iPad, there really isn’t a contrast. Much like the PDA didn’t kill the PC, but rather provided a good complementary device, the future will see us carrying devices that can do one thing at a time adequately (tablets) or devices that can do multiple things ideally (portable computers).

    I challenge all the Dell doubters to replace a workman’s PC with iPad. How much more or less productive will he be? Most of the supposed performance gains from having a tablet can be made by upgrading a PC (faster processor, no antivirus, etc) whereas it’s not possible to even display two apps concurrently on a tablet.

    • Guest

      What’s to stop Apple from providing more multi-tasking over time? iPad already runs a version of OS X (iOS). And Apple has already begun the iOS-ification of OS X on the Mac, including the ability to run apps designed for iOS.

      It’s seems logical that they can rather easily offer it any time they chose. They probably haven’t so far because they really don’t need to, and doing that would further impact Mac sales.

      Apple is in the driver’s seat here. They have the hardware, the volume, the apps, the marketing, unmatched retail distribution, and overwhelming momentum. MS waited too long to respond and will now likely be a niche player in tablets.

      • Guest

        Nothing. I don’t buy products based on anonymous hype about what they might do, though. I buy them based on what they do.

        iPad can’t display two apps simultaneously. Windows 8 can. Windows 8 wins.

        • Guest

          Fair enough. I’m the same way. But the challenge for MS is that tens of millions already see enough functionality in the current product and are voting with their wallets to buy it. And with the reception to iPad3, that looks likely to continue and even increase. By the time MS ships its first W8 tablet, three years late, what will the monthly run rate be for Apple? If MS then starts to mount any real market share threat due to its superior multi-tasking, how long will it take Apple to respond? I’d guess less than six months.

          • Guest

            I’m sorry — are you comparing number of iPad 3s sold to number of PCs sold? America’s PC makers collectively sell more PCs in an hour than Apple sells in a day. Once Windows 8 comes out, the “run rate” will grow even higher.

            Again, sir: I buy real products, not your blind faith.

          • Guest

            Do you see PC mentioned there? It was about iPads vs W8 tablets. But since you apparently want to go there, unit sales for iPads are now significant even relative to the overall PC industry. Projected iPad sales this year are 66 million units. That’s up from 0 three years ago. Total PC sales this year are estimated at around 300 million.   

          • Guest

            about 360 million PCs. But yeah, tablets sales are on fire.

          • Guest

            A year from now, “PC” and “Windows 8 tablet” will be interchangeable. People will be buying them en masse for home and business while iPad owners will continue to clutch their devices to their chest and defend their purchasing decisions to an apathetic world.

            Thank you for having this conversation with me. I’m glad I’ve been able to teach you today.

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