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(Pocket-lint) - Benson Lin, global head of handheld devices at Asus, has hinted to Pocket-lint that the company is working on a Windows 8 tablet for launch later in the year.

"For Microsoft we would be allowed to say that we are very, very, very close and work hard with Microsoft," Lin told Pocket-lint in a one-to-one interview at Mobile World Congress when we asked him what the company's plans were for a Windows 8 tablet.

"If you are Microsoft, which partner will you select? It is very simple," added the man in charge of the successful Transformer range.

If Asus is planning on making and releasing a Windows 8 tablet it wouldn't come as a surprise.

The company's Asus Tranformer, and Asus Transformer Prime are considered the best Android tablets on the market. They also come with a optional keyboard, so would suit the Windows 8 touch and more traditional desktop environments. 

Lin is right, Asus and Microsoft do have a strong partnership, one that according to Lin goes all the way up to the top of the tree.

"Steve Ballmer only uses the Asus Ultrabook," Lin tells us anecdotally in our interview, clearly excited to relay the story. "I just came from meeting Microsoft last week and they told me Ballmer only uses our Zenbook."

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If Ballmer's on board with using the Asus Zenbook you can be sure that he won't want Google to have all the fun with Android, and will want a snazzy looking tablet from Asus for his new operating system too.

But further questioning on the company's Windows 8 plans met with "no further comment".

Microsoft's Windows 8 Consumer Preview allows consumers to test out the new operating system is now available for download for free. 

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Writing by Stuart Miles.