A number of Android-related announcements have indicated mounting industry support for the open source operating system for upcoming tablet devices.
Asus has dropped Windows Compact Edition 7 from the EP101TC tablet according to a Netbook News report. The tablet had previously been demonstrated at Computex 2010 running a beta version of Microsoft’s Windows Compact Edition 7.
Netbook News reported from a meeting with the Asus "Eee Pad" team that the EP101TC would now be shipped with Android 3.0 "Gingerbread", possibly as late as Q1 2011 to allow for the new Android release "dust to settle".
Meanwhile Chinese PC builder Lenovo revealed that it will launch a tablet device called LePad also running Android. Lenovo VP Liu Jun told Trading Markets that the device would be launched before the end of the year and will be heavily Internet focused with integrated 3G.
In Australia, Toshiba unveiled new products including the AC 100 "Cloud Companion" at an event reported by PC Authority. The AC 100 is an upcoming Nvidia Tegra-based netbook that will also run the Android operating system while delivering a thin and light form factor and 10 hour battery life.
Toshiba Australia MD Mark Whittard showed a prototype tablet device and while cagey about what operating system the prototype would run, Whittard did confirm that the company would be releasing both Android and Windows 7 based tablets with at least one due in the September to October time frame.
Microsoft had announced at the Windows Partner Conference that the company was "hardcore" about Windows 7 tablets. However an increasing number of manufacturers have announcing Android-based tablets, many favouring lightweight ARM-powered designs similar to the Apple iPad.
PCR has more on the challenges Microsoft faces in the tablet device market in the feature: Tablet battle lines drawn.