Unlike Acer CEO JT Wang's combative stance on Microsoft's Surface tablet, Lenovo's Dilip Bhatia is taking a much friendlier tone. Speaking with ABC News' Joanna Stern during today's launch of the Thinkpad Tablet 2, Bhatia, the Vice President and General Manager of the Thinkpad Business unit, confidently explained that Lenovo's upcoming tablet has nothing to fear. "Microsoft is a strategic partner for us" Bhatia remarked, citing increased consumer interest in Windows 8 tablets following the announcement of the Surface tablet. But he maintained that the Thinkpad Tablet 2 will be able to stand on its own, thanks to a business-friendly feature set. That's apparently a reference to the fact that the Thinkpad Tablet 2 will run the full, "Pro" version of Windows 8, while the initial version of the Surface will only run Windows RT.
"The ThinkPad tablet is focused after the business individual; the Surface is more geared towards the consumer offering"
Assuming the ThinkPad Tablet 2 arrives at the same time Windows 8 launches, its business advantage could be short-lived. The Microsoft Surface for Windows 8 Pro is expected to be out about three months after Windows 8 launches, and will reportedly offer a meatier Core i5 Ivy Bridge processor along with the same stylus and USB support — all of which seems equally business-friendly. There's still no word on a price or official release date for the Thinkpad Tablet 2, but the coming months will show if Lenovo's confidence has merit.