Apple's iPad continues to lead the worldwide tablet market with a clear advantage, but its opposition is adamant in its drive to change the layout of this facet of the industry.Regardless of what most would have one think, the current state of the tablet market is a bit on the sad side, so to speak.
After all, when a single tablet has so much more than half of the whole slate market, it is a bit embarrassing for everyone else combined.
Then again, Apple did have the advantage of being the first to sell such things.
It also didn't hurt its chances that there was no viable alternative, both in hardware and in software, for quite a while after the iPad appeared.
Still, even though they started slow, Android-loaded slates have been gaining ground.
What's more, this year Microsoft will unleash the Windows 8 operating system, which is optimized for touch input and even supports ARM processors.
Not only that, but Intel has been working on the Medfield chip, an x86-based mobile SoC of its own.
Now, Digitimes says that Intel and Microsoft are very confident in the chances of Apple losing hold on its customers.
More precisely, the report says that, by the middle of 2013, the iPad will have fallen to below 50% share worldwide. Sure, Apple's product will still be in the lead, but not by such a huge margin.
There will be 32 Windows 8 tablets by the end of 2012, from HP, Dell, Acer, ASUS, Lenovo and Toshiba.
The high-end ones will reach $1000, give or take, but Acer and Lenovo still hope to bring out models priced at below $300 (probably just as many Euros in Europe).
Speaking of which, Lenovo's stake in the Chinese education market will provide Wintel tablets with many customers there.