According to Digitimes, Taiwan based ODM’s claim that Intel and Microsoft have  been cooperating closely with first-tier vendors developing new tablets powered by Windows 8, with the goal of decreasing iPad’s global market share from 70% currently to below 50% by the middle of 2013.

According to Digitimes’ sources, Microsoft will release Windows 8 for x86 platforms in September and Windows RT, a version specifically for ARM architecture, later.

Based on the current development progress, a mêlée of 32 Windows 8 tablets are set to be launched by Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Lenovo, Acer, Asustek Computer and Toshiba by the end of 2012. The sources claimed that Lenovo and Acer in particular plan to launch Windows 8 tablets from as low as US$300 to compete with Android tablets offered by China-based white-box vendors, and models at over US$300 to challenge iPad, including the new iPad and a next-generation iPad.

Digitimes’ sources noted that Intel considers Lenovo’s strong status in educational and business-use tablets in China key to driving the global market share for Windows 8 tablets. The tablet wars, begun they have.