Print 17 comment(s) - last by B3an.. on Jun 15 at 7:39 PM

A "beta" of Windows 8 is expected to launch in September or October; the retail version is expected to launch approximately a year later.
New operating system is company's "riskiest" yet

Sporting a Metro-UI inspired makeover, support for ARM architecture CPUs, and putting Ribbons in places that some people might not be ready for (e.g. Windows Explorer), Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) upcoming Windows 8 is the software giant's "riskiest product", according to Chief Executive Steve Ballmer.

At a promotional event for September's BUILD conference, Microsoft's Corporate Vice President Dan'l Lewin let the company's purported launch schedule slip.  He said that a beta would land soon after the conference and the OS would go through a year of tune-up testing before being officially launched in September/October 2012.

That launch date "makes sense" as it's in line with most past Windows launches, which typically came in the Fall.

Windows 8 will follow the best-selling Windows 7 operating system, which launched in Oct. 2009.  Its development cycle will last approximately three years -- about the same as that of Windows 7, which replaced the Jan. 2007 launched Vista. (It is worth noting that Vista took approximately five years to develop.)

Mr. Lewin defended Microsoft's decision to use Windows 8 for tablets, rather than the Windows Phone operating system.  He said the decision will enhance enterprise security.  And he argues putting a smart phone operating system on a tablet amounts to "compromising" the user experience -- he says users want PC features in their tablets.

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RE: Win 8 vs. Meego vs. ....?
By Flunk on 6/15/2011 12:26:27 PM , Rating: 2
With Nokia out and Intel backing Microsoft Meego doesn't have much of a market. I'm not totally sold on the idea of Windows tablets but I am totally sure that Meego is now as dead as Symbian.

RE: Win 8 vs. Meego vs. ....?
By PrezWeezy on 6/15/2011 1:07:45 PM , Rating: 5
I actually never wanted a tablet until I saw the Win8 tablets. They have some amazing features, and because it's Windows it will still run all the programs I want. Which is what I haven't wanted to give up in a tablet. I still don't think it will replace my desktop/laptop setup, but I might actually buy a tablet when they come out.

RE: Win 8 vs. Meego vs. ....?
By Akrovah on 6/15/2011 3:19:57 PM , Rating: 1
I have the same, yet opposite feeling.
Since the tablet runs Windows, if you get one on x86 (possible with the low power CPUs AMD and Intel are promising) you still can run all your current softwre on the tablet. Thats where I agree with you as that is also excatly what I am waiting for in a tablet.

Where I have the opposite reaction is teh desktop replacement. If you'v got a windows 8 tablet just set it up in a docking cradle with a couple of USB ports on it and you have an instant desktop. They already have cradles similar to this for iPad so it is not out of the realm of possibility.

I see only two things you loose. The first is storage, but anymore most households (especially techie households) would probably benefit from a small storage server, if they don't ahve one already.

The second is gaming. Personaly I have decided I no longer wish to deal with the instability and compatibility issues of PC gaming and have already begun my migration to a console centric gaming lifestyle, but many (especially those who frequent these boards) may not agree with me on that.

RE: Win 8 vs. Meego vs. ....?
By B3an on 6/15/2011 7:39:09 PM , Rating: 2
Theres loads other things apart from storage and gaming that you would lose when going to a tablet+dock setup like with the Asus Transformer (no idea why you mentioned iPad gimmicks).

You'd have vastly less processing power and less RAM. Forget doing any remotely demanding work or tasks.
Multiply monitor setups you'd also lose. Maybe you could connect one monitor but i doubt 2 or more.
And obviously you wouldn't be able to upgrade anything, or add PCI-E cards as with a desktop.
Way less connector ports (USB or others).
No overclocking (not much anyway) because of not being able to change cooling or having a BIOS/UEFI made for it.
Even if you had external storage you'd still lose performance, it's not like you can dump a high performance SSD in a tablet or RAID them.

I'd definitely replace my laptop with a Win8 tablet+dock though. But for desktop, tablets could never be as fast or as customisable because of the form factor so there will always be a need for desktops. I can see a tablet+dock being enough for many basic users though.

RE: Win 8 vs. Meego vs. ....?
By Micronite on 6/15/2011 3:33:23 PM , Rating: 2
and because it's Windows it will still run all the programs I want

This will depend on your platform and the programs you want.
If you're running Win8 on an ARM-based processor, the program is either going to have to be recompiled for ARM or be written in some language that uses JIT compiling.

RE: Win 8 vs. Meego vs. ....?
By Jammrock on 6/15/2011 5:14:47 PM , Rating: 4
What he said. Microsoft will have their core apps recompiled for ARM, no doubt. The Metro UI demo shows Office running on ARM. What should, hopefully, make the ARM transition easier is that Windows 8 will have the same kernel and tech across all platforms. That means you write the code once and then compile for ARM, x86 and x64 without reprogramming anything.

At least, if it's done right that's the way it will work.

RE: Win 8 vs. Meego vs. ....?
By blazeoptimus on 6/15/2011 4:03:25 PM , Rating: 2
"They have some amazing features, and because it's Windows it will still run all the programs I want."

Your assuming that your Tablet will run x86. Its likely that a good portion of the tablets will run on ARM (this was one of the main reasons to port win 8 to arm). If your tablet is ARM based, your programs will need to be recompiled to run natively on Win8. Even if the ARM port contains an x86 emulator, so that the existing library of Microsoft titles just runs, emulators are notoriously slow. This would likely produce an undesirable user experience (a 2Ghz processor runs similar to 500-600mhz processor in emulation). Some of the native porting could be simplified if the program relies heavily on .net (depending on which versions of .net win 8 supports).

At this point you may be asking "well what about atom, branzo, or Ultra Mobile i3 based tablets?". While those would defiantly "just run" your software, they incur a penalty in form factor and battery life. Most reviews indicate that current, and even near future x86 based tablets, run hotter and for shorter times than there ARM counterparts. This, again, is part of the reason why Windows has ported version 8 to the ARM architecture.

Mostly I'm trying to say that a tablet without compromise isn't currently possible, and won't be possible in the near term. You'll likely have to make a good deal of sacrifices somewhere. Which sacrifices your willing to live with is up to you.

RE: Win 8 vs. Meego vs. ....?
By michael2k on 6/15/2011 4:30:05 PM , Rating: 2
How do you figure an ARM Windows 8 tablet would have all your programs?

"So, I think the same thing of the music industry. They can't say that they're losing money, you know what I'm saying. They just probably don't have the same surplus that they had." -- Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA

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