Xiaomi is reportedly working with Microsoft in developing a new tablet that runs on Windows 10 instead of its own MIUI, the custom Android skin that traditionally runs on Xiaomi's devices.
The report comes out of Gizmo China, which cites Chinese technology analyst Pan Jiutang, who says the Chinese startup and the software titan are working together on a new tablet that is expected for release sometime in the third quarter of 2015.
Specifically, the rumored device might be slated for an Aug. 16 release, the customary date Xiaomi has picked for the official unveiling of its new devices.
Jiutang, however, does not provide specific details about the reported tablet. Currently, it is unknown whether it will run on the standard Windows 10 platform or on Windows Mobile. Interesting speculation has also pointed to the possibility of a dual-boot device that can run both Windows 10 and Android.
If the rumor is true, the new Windows 10 tablet will become the successor to Xiaomi's Mi Pad 7.9, its flagship tablet measuring 8 inches and released in June 2014. Currently, the Mi Pad is sold worldwide at an average price of 180 EUR or around $198. Microsoft has previously stated that Windows 10 standard edition is best for devices that have a display of at least 8 inches.
A Microsoft-Xiaomi partnership on a tablet is not far from becoming a reality. In fact, both companies have already struck a new partnership that will let owners of the Mi 4, Xiaomi's flagship smartphone, to participate in Microsoft's Windows Insider program and let them try out a custom Windows 10 ROM for their devices.
Joe Belfiore, corporate vice president of Microsoft's operating systems group, has tweeted a picture of a Xiaomi Mi 4 running on the said Windows 10 ROM prior to the insider program's launch in the coming weeks.
#10! The beautiful Xiaomi Mi4! I've been carrying this as my daily driver for about a week, on 10240. It's LOVELY! pic.twitter.com/54ATz5tzrF
— joebelfiore (@joebelfiore) July 30, 2015
Microsoft is cutting its losses from its own smartphone hardware business, which it purchased from Nokia in 2014, and is moving on quickly to put Windows 10 in front of as many users as possible. Partnering with Xiaomi appears to be a well-placed strategy, since Xiaomi is the second largest vendor of smartphones in China, believed to be the next frontier for mobile devices.