Print 14 comment(s) - last by Dave2009.. on May 29 at 7:03 AM

Will show off device next week at All Things D and Computex

Although it's only been a few days since Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer told the audience at the 2011 Japanese Microsoft Developers Conference that his company would not be releasing Windows 8 until 2012 (a statement that Microsoft later retracted), Bloomberg Businessweek reports that the company will preview an early version of its new, tablet-centric OS as soon as next week.

Bloomberg cites three anonymous sources familiar with Microsoft's plans that say the company will display a touchscreen tablet running on NVIDIA's ARM-based Tegra chip. Windows President Steven Sinofsky will present at the All Things D conference, and VP Steve Guggenheimer will appear at Computex in Taipei, according to Bloomberg. 

Microsoft representatives declined comment, but Ballmer hinted at the newfound urgency in a speech in New Delhi: "We are in a race," he reportedly said. "We are not doing that badly, frankly. We are doing pretty well in that race. But the race is on to continue to push Windows to a variety of new form factors." 

While the new OS will not be available until next year, "the company is eager to show it is moving forward, seeking to generate demand among computer makers and chip suppliers," Bloomberg's Ian King and Dina Bass write.

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The only way...
By Motoman on 5/27/2011 11:31:21 AM , Rating: 2
...a "tablet" really makes much sense, in general but especially for business use, is when it's a convertible laptop/netbook design.

Which is to say, an actual laptop/netbook whose screen can be rotated and folded flat to be used tablet-style, but also can be used as an actual computer with the keyboard.

Such devices wouldn't have to have much in the way of size or weight penalties - for example, take that new Dell netbook that's essentially as thin as a Mac Air and give it the swivel-screen treatment.

If you do that, you have one device that can solve multiple problems...which is a lot better, economically and procedurally, than having a tablet and a computer both.

RE: The only way...
By vincentyu2008 on 5/28/2011 2:07:05 AM , Rating: 2
Microsoft has already been pushing the whole PC industry in that direction for 10 years to no avail. It is a failure.

Keep taking the tablets...
By BugblatterIII on 5/27/2011 2:53:09 PM , Rating: 2
...and see me in a year if theres no change.

This could easily go the same way as Windows Phone 7; too little too late.

What the hardware will be
By Dave2009 on 5/29/2011 7:03:08 AM , Rating: 2
Consider that by the time windows 8 launches, the hardware inside tablets will be at least equivalent to current netbooks. So ok an Atom processor doesn't do a great job of windows 7 (half my problem is simply that the basic theme is ugly) but AMD's new chips can run windows 7 home premium and they’re only a little bit faster, so for MS to optimize win8 to run on this sort of hardware is believable.

As for office and the whole argument of productivity on a tablet imagine a version of the Eee pad transformer running windows, for many (my parents as an example) that would be enough to be the only device they'd need.
And with a new Atom architecture and 22nm to come in the next 2 years running a real operating system like windows puts a device like that well ahead of the iPad in terms of functionality.

In my opinion iOS is simply a far too closed a platform for an iPad to ever be considered a "real" computer. I’d simply always need to be able to open from and save to a USB, and this alone is enough that I believe once the market settles down a bit Android and Windows will be the major platforms in the tablet space.
That and the fact that only Apple will ever make apple products, leaving a giant industry of hardware manufacturers to sell products running someone else’s software, and people already know and are comfortable with windows.

Windows-centric Business Model
By Arsynic on 5/27/11, Rating: -1
RE: Windows-centric Business Model
By therealnickdanger on 5/27/2011 9:02:07 AM , Rating: 5
For people that own and use Windows tablets, they seem to work well. I owned one for a while and it did what I needed. Touchscreen technology has come a long way since Windows XP Tablet Edition (2002!), blazed mostly by Apple and Google in recent years. Even Microsoft has been pulling strings behind the scenes - have you ever used Surface? So what makes you think that because Microsoft's previous full OS was somewhat impractical for tablet use that a "new, tablet-centric" OS will fail? It goes against your very argument as to why you think it will fail. Did you you not read the article?

the company will preview an early version of its new, tablet-centric OS as soon as next week

RE: Windows-centric Business Model
By Arsynic on 5/27/2011 11:04:41 AM , Rating: 1
Business use vs. consumer use. Microsoft won't make any headway in the consumer market with that. Isn't that what they're trying to do?

In the Enterprise if they target Windows 8 tablets to hospitals, they'll do well because of the recent push for EHRs. Companies will be able to run EHR clients natively instead of having to invest in a cost-prohibitive Citrix infrastructure just to get it to run on non-Windows tablets.

By StevoLincolnite on 5/27/2011 11:04:29 AM , Rating: 4
I have a Windows 7 convertible Netbook/tablet, it's actually a rather great experience.
Just a shame my system is paired with a craptastic Intel Atom, 2gb of ram, 500gb 7200rpm HDD, Intel GMA 3150 Decelerator graphics...
Waiting on AMD's Fusion E-350 to come available in the same form factor in my region before I upgrade it.

The cool thing though is that allot of ancient 2D accelerated games like: Alpha Centauri, Civilization 2, Master of Orion 2, Sim City... Work incredibly well with touch, despite being released 10-15 years before touch-screens were even thought to ever arrive on Windows.

RE: Windows-centric Business Model
By Mitch101 on 5/27/2011 9:17:39 AM , Rating: 2
Why not wait till they demo it before passing judgement? Its just a DEMO probably to get feedback on the device before its release to see if they are in the ballpark of what consumers want before release.

If a Microsoft tablet were to get an early release of Mango on it the device would be really good and it would already have 17,000 apps for it. Not a bad launching point if the price is right I might be tempted to get one.

RE: Windows-centric Business Model
By Oyster on 5/27/2011 9:21:15 AM , Rating: 2
You obviously haven't used ThinkPad tablets, have you? I have been rocking these (different iterations) for the past decade, and I was iPad'in it way before the iPad became game. I don't think I have ever come across an app that is more productive than OneNote.

And, of course, Ballmer wants to sell Office - people bitching about Office (or supporters of any other Office-like offerings) have never used and abused Excel and/or Word to their fullest extents. Ever try running a Monte Carlo simulation in Google Docs? LOL.

If there is something to be learnt from Apple, it is the art of Marketing. Oh, and market timing. Do you think iOS or Android would be doing so well had they launched after Windows Phone 7? Under Ballmer, MS has always been a follower, not an innovator. I only hope this changes with increased competition.

RE: Windows-centric Business Model
By Arsynic on 5/27/2011 11:11:14 AM , Rating: 2
Marketing isn't the problem. It's functionality. People don't bang out spreadsheets on tablets. They may view or edit, but consumer tablets aren't productivity devices.

MS needs to target the enterprise...specifically hospitals. Doctors and nurses would love to replace expensive laptops and powered carts for light-weight Windows tablets.

By Shadowmaster625 on 5/27/2011 10:04:34 AM , Rating: 2
MS is very likely to do exactly what you describe: put a dumbed down phone OS onto the tablet, rather than do the work needed to fix their OS to make it run more smoothly on a low power tablet. Why wouldnt they do mthis? They can sell more versions of the same software.

Like another commenter said, windows 7 works just fine on a tablet. Just disable a bit of the bloat and it will run fine with an AMD C-50 and be cheaper than icrap.

RE: Windows-centric Business Model
By Da W on 5/27/2011 11:37:20 AM , Rating: 1
1) Except for the iPad, there has been way more windows tablet PC sold than other tablets. Of course 1% of PC sales doesn't seems a lot, but there are a lot of PC sales, so 1% of it is still way more than Xoom tablets!

2) Windows 7 on tablet works, i had a turion X2 tablet PC, faster than atom. The problem is just that there isn't much you want to do with a tablet. It will always be faster to type on a keyboard, always more precise to use a mouse, so why bother.

3) They are doing precisely THAT: a Metro skin on top of Windows 8.

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