Will Microsoft’s NEW Tablet Give Apple a Run for its Money?

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) has announced an event to be held in L.A. today about Windows tablets, where it is expected to show off what will likely be near clones of Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad running Windows RT, the ARM (NASDAQ:ARMH) version of Windows 8.

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While Microsoft has a long way to go just to catch up with the first iPad released in 2010, analysts say we should expect some dramatic progress toward that goal on Monday. Still, while manufacturers may try to rip off the iPad’s style, it’s Apple’s iCloud and iTunes ecosystem that drive customers to its platform, and until now, no one has been able to come close to replicating that model and that level of success.

Unfortunately for Microsoft, Windows 8 has been met with a lukewarm reception so far, and a few have said it looks like nothing more than an enhanced version of Windows Phone 7 running atop the traditional Windows desktop environment. And ultimately, it’s the software, not the hardware, that really counts. Can Windows 8 and Windows RT give Apple’s iOS a run for its money? If not, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) will likely run away with the tablet market, leaving Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Microsoft in its dust.

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