UPDATED 10:44 EDT / JANUARY 11 2012

Dell Gives the Tablet a Second Chance, Can’t Decide on an OS

Is 2012 the year of second chances?  Before you think that you’ve clicked on the wrong link and you were redirected to an article about romance or lovers getting back together, I assure you this is an article about Dell’s affair with tablets.

As for the second chances bit, it’s just weird how failed ventures seem to be making a comeback.  Like Sony launching new Google TV products even though their Bravia Google TV was an epic failure, and now Dell making a tablet comeback after they buried two tablets last year: the Dell Streak 5, which was put to rest in August, and the Streak 7, brought to its final resting place in December.  This left Dell with one last tablet to offer:  the Dell Inspiron Duo, which is actually a laptop that converts to a tablet with its flip-hinge design.

According to Dell, they could be launching their first commercial tablet later this year. Dell’s chief commercial officer Steve Felice explains in an interview with Reuters that their “Streak” series tablet was enterprised focused, the reason it flopped, so now, they’re focusing on the consumers, their needs and wants.

“We have been taking our time. The general failure of everyone that’s tried to introduce a tablet outside of Apple” suggested Dell made a prudent choice, Felice said in an interview. “You will see us enter this market in a bigger way toward the end of the year. So we are not really deemphasizing it, we are really being very careful how we enter it.

“When you are talking about PC, people are more focused on the hardware itself. When you are talking about the tablet or the smartphone, people are interested in the overall environment its operating in,” he added. “As we have matured in this, we are spending a lot more time in the overall ecosystem.”

Felice hasn’t officially stated which OS they will use for their upcoming tablet.  At one point Dell said, “We like Windows 8 but we continue to develop with Android as well. We are still going to be more choice-driven, based on the feedback we get from customers.”

The Dell team is really taking their time on this one, as they do not want to rush into things again then end up trashing their products like the Streak 5 and 7 or encounter the same sad fate as the HP TouchPad or the BlackBerry PlayBook.

“When we introduce the products, they will be consumer products, but we are going to make sure that they are very compatible with the business marketplace, which we don’t think Apple has addressed,” Felice said. “There’s lot of use in the commercial sector that requires security and more compatibility, and I think we will be able to address that in a better way.”

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