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Microsoft Ready to Demo Windows 8 Tablets by June?



Microsoft is getting ready to show off a new tablet user interface design that will be bundled together with its next-generation Windows 8 desktop operating system. Unlike rival tablet operating systems, Windows 8 tablets will run a desktop-class OS and not a scaled down mobile OS. According to Business Insider, the Redmond, Washington software company may be ready to show off the new tablet UI in June, at the end of the company’s fiscal year.

The new UI design will closely reflect Microsoft’s Metro UI design from Windows Phone 7, which includes large live tiles that are optimized for touch input.

In the past, Microsoft has said that Windows Phone 7, its mobile OS, will not make it past smartphones and it will reserve Windows for tablets. Like Apple, it looks like Microsoft is beginning to borrow some features from mobile for its desktop OS for use in its tablets.

In a previous report, Mary Jo Foley of ZDNet reported that Microsoft may achieve its third milestone for Windows 8 development at the end of July. If Microsoft follows its timeline for release with Windows 7, Windows 8’s third milestone would be the last internal milestone and a public preview of the OS could be ready in time for the Professional Developers Conference in Fall. The OS would be released a year later, which means that like its late debuting smartphone platform, Microsoft’s tablet platform will have to catch up to rival OSes.

While Microsoft had ignited the tablet revolution about a decade ago, the Tablet PCs never gained mainstream adoption outside of enterprise and vertical markets. Early tablet computers were powerful, but they consumed a lot of power and that resulted in short battery life. Also, while the slate form factor didn’t do as well, the convertible form factor offered the versatility of a slate or laptop with a rotating screen. That design, however, led to heavier, bulky tablets when used in slate mode. Still, Microsoft’s tablet environment offers one of the best inking capabilities on the market.



  1. ChrisRS

    03/02/2011 at 5:40 am

    meh. iPad 2 announces tomorow. 3 months later (maybe) MS will demo Win 8. The apple fans will say that MS is saying wait Win 8 (12 to 18 months) and tablet will be great. The apple fans will be correct.

    How much longer will MS play catch up in the tablet space that they invented and abandoned?

    This sounds like too little too late. In June MS needs to anniunce demo and release a metro interface “powere toy” for WIn 7 touch and pen devices.

  2. Beverly Jones Redekop

    03/02/2011 at 7:11 am

    Would a Windows 8 tablet be instant-on like the iPad? I have a convertible tablet PC and LOVE inking, but I would upgrade for instant-on.

  3. Jim Winski

    04/26/2011 at 10:03 pm

    The last paragraph is interesting:

    “While Microsoft had ignited the tablet revolution about a decade ago, …”

    Exactly how did Microsoft ignite the tablet revolution? They came way after the Newton, which was also a tablet form factor but did not catch on. They did nothing but try to deliver a different hardware form factor with an unusable OS on it. I’d say that they didn’t ignite the tablet revolution at all. If anything, they extinguished it for a decade.

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