Last week during the Dell World conference, CEO Michael Dell reiterated his support for Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system as a tablet platform, stating that Dell would release a "wide range of products around Windows 8's release." Now, a report from DigiTimes claims the company's first tablet devices sporting the OS could arrive in the third quarter of 2012 possibly during the back-to-school season.

Interestingly, the report claims HP will also be among the first manufacturers to launch Windows 8 tablets. The company has previously said that although it discontinued producing webOS devices, it wasn't necessarily to back out of the tablet sector. What's more, CEO Meg Whitman is reportedly reconsidering the plan to get out of the consumer hardware market that was originally proposed by her ousted predecessor Léo Apotheker. A decision is expected by the end of the month.

Apparently the main reason for focusing on alternative tablet platforms instead of Android has to do with the current market saturation and pricing war triggered by Amazon's Kindle Fire. Sources point to the Motorola's "family edition" Xoom that will sell for $379 at Best Buy – which still feels like too little, too late if you ask me.

According to DigiTImes, Asus and Acer will continue to offer Android devices aimed at consumers. Lenovo will also use Android, but for its business-use ThinkPad tablets, while Dell will reportedly use Windows 8 as the platform for its own business-oriented tablets going forward.