Microsoft is desperate to stunt Apple's slice of the tablet market with its Windows 8 slates, reportedly planning to unleash 32 of the things on the world this year.

The grand plan, in association with Intel, is to push the iPad's current 70 per cent global share of the tablet market down to less than 50 per cent by mid 2013, according to Digitimes' sources.

Flooding the market with tablets seems to be the thrust of the strategy, with Digitimes' sources reckoning that 32 Windows 8 tablets will launch by the end of 2012.

Cheap as chips

Entry level slates could hit the shelves with price tags of under $300 (less than £187 although we can probably whack a bit more on there for tax).

This would put them in some serious competition with the Amazon Kindle Fire, and the widely rumoured Google Nexus tablet.

Apple may yet have some tricks up its sleeve to combat these cheap and cheerful tablets though, with rumours of a smaller-screened, lower-priced iPad Mini refusing to die.

From Digitimes