Nokia will make a Windows 8 tablet

The new relationship between Nokia and Microsoft looks like it will extend beyond Windows Phone.

Confirming growing speculation that Nokia would move into the tablet territory, the head of Nokia in France has confirmed the company is working on a Windows 8-powered tablet.

Windows 8 will be unlike any previous version of Microsoft’s operating system because it will have a dedicated focus on tablets that will be separate from the standard PC version.

Microsoft has a lot of ambition with Windows 8, and with a complete interface overhaul and functionality up the wazoo, it does have a chance to make a splash.

Nokia and Microsoft are officially tying the knot right now, as the first Windows Phone-powered Nokia handset is already making its way to customers overseas. They should be hitting US store shelves early next year.

As for the Nokia tablets, expect those in mid 2012 at the earliest.

What Nokia brings to the table is an ingenuity in mobile manufacturing and ergonomics that few have been able to challenge. The company’s strength in hardware design is why it managed to be the runaway leader in smartphones for a sustained period of time.

It was software that put a death knell on the company, with Android and iOS making Nokia’s proprietary Symbian platform seem completely irrelevant.

Windows Phone is poised to bring a huge jolt to both Microsoft and Nokia, especially in the US mobile market where there is nowhere to go but up for both companies.