Salient to Investors:

Microsoft is expected to sell its own brand tablet running Windows 8 to try to win back consumers of Apple’s iPad.  Colin Gillis, an analyst at BGC Partners said other PC makers have limited recourse since Apple doesn’t license its software and Google will probably make its own tablets through its recent acquisition of Motorola Mobility.

The addition of a tablet would radically alter profitability in the Windows business, with operating margins of more than 60 percent versus Dell’s operating margin of about 7 percent.

Sales in the Windows group have missed analysts’ estimates in four of the six most recent quarters as consumers shifted to purchasing tablets rather than lower-cost laptop PCs running Windows.

Apple has expanded its tablet market share despite and Samsung tablets running Google’s Android software.

IDC predicts the iPad will account for 62.5 percent of global shipments this year, versus 58.2 percent last year, and could rise even further if it introduces a smaller, less expensive tablet.

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