MSI is delaying the launch of its Intel-powered Windows 7 tablet until 2011. The move will be a hard blow for Intel and Microsoft, both are struggling to break into the mainstream tablet market with the rise of lower cost Android offerings powered by ARM-based chip designs. According to the company, the delay is due in large part to the switch to Intel’s newer Oak Trail platform, which won’t be available until early 2011. Current Intel chips consume too much power and are too slow for MSI.
The company’s WindPad 110, which will be powered by Google’s mobile Android operating system and the ARM-based dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 250 chipset, is still on track to launch later this year in 2010. According to the company, MSI will be working with Google to bring a mobile app store to the WindPad, but it isn’t clear if it will be Android’s official Android Market, an independent app store from MSI, or a hybrid offering of the two to possibly bring apps that are made and geared towards tablets rather than smartphones much in the same way that Apple has differentiated its iOS App Store into iPhone and iPad apps.
By shifting resources towards tablets, MSI may in fact be reducing the number of netbook offerings from its lineup.