Notebook manufacturers are hopeful that the recent debut of Intel's Ivy Bridge processors, as well as the forthcoming launch of Windows 8, will boost laptop sales and counter the effect of Apple's iPad.
Microsoft on Wednesday took the wraps off of Windows Phone 8, set to launch this fall alongside Windows 8 for PCs and the new Surface tablet, featuring e-wallet support with NFC chips, as well as support for high-definition screens.
Microsoft has begun teasing that it has a "major" announcement to make at a media event next Monday, June 18, while one report states that the company will show off new ARM-based tablets running Windows RT.
The launch of ARM-based tablets and computers later this year running Windows RT is expected by one analyst to confuse consumers, potentially pushing even more of them to Apple's tightly integrated ecosystem.
Apple's chief executive Tim Cook doesn't see success in Microsoft's strategy to have Windows 8 power everything from notebooks to tablets to hybrid transforming devices, comparing their convergence to a refrigerator with toaster functions tacked on the side.
As Microsoft scrambles to finish its next generation Windows 8 tablet and desktop operating system, some analysts say that the Redmond, Wash., company must launch by October to avoid being overrun by mounting competition from Apple and Google's Android.
Apple's third-generation iPad is expected by one market watcher to soon arrive during an advantageous "window of opportunity," in which competitors have nothing significant to offer, that will further increase the company's lead in the mobile computing market.
Microsoft has rearranged its management team for Windows Phone, shifting division head Andy Lees to a "time-critical opportunity" to build momentum for its Windows Phone and Windows 8 operating systems, a move that some have viewed as a sign of failure.
While stating her company would "bet heavily with Windows [8 tablets]" in the short term, HP chief executive Meg Whitman stated that the company will return to building a webOS tablet by 2013, if not next year.