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Reports: Microsoft to Launch Tablet With Streaming

18 Jun, 2012 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Microsoft Corp. reportedly is set to announce development of a tablet computer with Barnes and Noble, according to online reports.

The Redmond, Wash.-based software giant last week sent media advisories proclaiming a “major Microsoft announcement” June 18 in Los Angeles, according to TechCrunch.com.

The website, citing sources familiar with the situation, said the announcement would focus on a branded tablet with the capacity to stream Xbox Live content — the first non-Xbox device able to do so.

The device, which features Windows RT, a mobile version of its Windows 8 operating system, would specifically target the Amazon Kindle Fire, which can stream movies and TV shows via subscription video-on-demand platform Amazon Prime.

Microsoft in April entered into a $300 million joint development with Barnes and Noble.

Barnes & Noble currently markets the Nook tablet, which this month generated more web traffic than the Kindle Fire, according to Chitika, an online ad network and data analytics company.

“Barnes & Nobles’ e-reader with tablet capabilities now accounts for 0.85% of all tablet web traffic versus Kindle Fire’s 0.71%,” a June 14 release reads.

Chitika found that 91.07% of tablet web traffic comes from iPad devices — a traffic volume that has fallen about 3.5% from the 94.64% figure reported in early May.

The company said the rise in use of non-iPad tablets is likely due to an influx of tablet models on the market, in addition to declining unit prices. Among non-iPad tablets, the Samsung Galaxy leads the pack, with 1.77% of tablet Web traffic and 1.94 devices per 100 iPads. Other noteworthy tablets include the Acer Iconia, Toshiba Thrive and Asus Transformer Pad.

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