Microsoft are reportedly not planning on releasing an OS tailored to tablets that will compete with Apple's iOS and Google's Android until 2012.

Sources at Microsoft have spoken to news agency Bloomberg, stating that the software giant will not be rushing out a tablet operating system.

Apparently a tablet-friendly version of Windows will be tested at the end of this year and released until the summer of 2012.

iPad 2

Apple showed off not only the iPad 2 this week, but also latest version of its operating system iOS 4.3, while Google's Android has proven to be a popular choice on the host of tablets that are arriving to market,.

Windows 7 is touch-enabled, but the OS is far from suitable for touchscreen devices. Android and iOS are scaled up from mobile phones, but it seems unlikely that Microsoft will go down the same road with its Windows Phone 7 software.

By delaying into next year, many will ask if Microsoft is going to suffer by arriving late to the tablet market, although rushing out an inferior offering would be ill-advised.

But, with Windows 8 being built to function on ARM as well as the traditional x86 platform, Microsoft will be keen to have a market share in what Steve Jobs pointedly called 'post-PC products'.