You would normally assume Nokia would be first to come out with a tablet immediately following the iPad launch in April of last year.

Alas, the Finnish cellphone giant has bigger worries on its mind.

However, with former Microsoft executive Stephen Elop at Nokia’s helm, the company is considering its tablet options as we speak.

They wanna avoid me-too approach so they’re thinking different about so-called iPad killers. Even though competitors have shipped more than 200 slates in all shapes, sizes and price points, right now iPad is reaping all the profits.

Elop told Finnish news organization YLE that Nokia is "in a hurry to do the right thing", adding:

We could take advantage of Microsoft technology and software, and build a Windows-oriented tablet, or we could do things with some of the other software assets that we have. Our team right now is assessing what’s the right tablet strategy for Nokia

There are now over 200 different tablets on the marketplace, only one of them is doing really well. And, my challenge to the team is I don’t wanna be the 201st tablet on the market that you can’t tell from all of the others.

We have to take a uniquely Nokia prospective and so the teams are working very hard on something that would be differentiating relative to everything else that’s going on in the market.

Nokia has a few tablet options at their disposal.

They could build a tablet around their Symbian operating system, but that’s highly unlikely considering they’re abandoning it plus it’s not really optimized for the tablet form factor. Also, Microsoft could give them an unparalleled access to the Windows Phone software or they could go with existing Windows 7 software, neither of which supports tablet form factor very well.

The most likely outcome, in my personal opinion, is a Windows 8-powered tablet with the Nokia logo on it. Windows 8 will rock a monolithic kernel and should scale nicely to any form factor, from personal computers and notebooks to netbooks, tablets and smartphones. That’s at least Microsoft’s pitch and only time will tell if the new operating system will live up to the hype.

MeeGo is also a viable choice but its future is kinda fuzzy right now and it’s unclear whether it can compete with Apple’s iOS, Hewlet-Packard’s webOS, Google’s Android Honeycomb and other tablet operating systems out there. Check out the source link for a video clip of the interview. The fun part begins at 10:45 (sorry, they don’t allow embedding).