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Microsoft Ready to Enter Tablet Market; Apple Territory

Microsoft is set to unveil a tablet next week that will mark its entry into rival Apple’s territory with its own branded product, TheWrap has learned.

The company has scheduled a secretive event for Monday at 3:30 p.m. June 18 in Los Angeles, where it will make a “major” announcement whose nature has not been disclosed. Even the venue has not yet been announced.

But an individual with knowledge of the company said that Microsoft would introduce a Microsoft-manufactured tablet at the event, marking a foray into a new hardware category that would put the company in direct competition with giant rival Apple.

Microsoft did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Rumors have surfaced that Microsoft’s new tablet will run on Windows RT, a version of Windows 8 that uses an ARM microprocessor.

In 2011 at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer discussed the ARM chip technology.

Microsoft has created a multibillion-dollar market with the Xbox, the premiere gaming console that has evolved into a leading entertainment delivery device.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who once embraced the stylus, has experimented with tablet technology for the better part of a decade. Previously, Microsoft-enabled tablets have been made by hardware manufacturers such as Samsung and Hewlett-Packard.

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