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Microsoft keeps expectations for its first party tablet modest amid market hype

At its Worldwide Partner Conference in Canada, a Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) executive offered official confirmation of an August Release to Manufacturing (RTM) build of Windows 8, followed by an October release.  

The details were confirmed by Windows Chief Financial Officer Tami Reller.  They fall roughly in line with past statements by Microsoft, but were more explicit, committing to precise months.

Leaked builds have shown that one of the big changes in the RTM build will be the elimination of the Aero glass UI, in favor of a Metro UI desktop theme.  The desktop Metro UI theme in leaked builds looks somewhat similar to the familiar Windows desktop, but emphasizes harder windows edges and pastel colors.

At the conference CEO Steve Ballmer also is quoted by All Things Digital's Mary Jo Foley as stating, "We may sell a few million of the 375 million PCs we expect to sell in next year with Surface."

Microsoft has high hopes for its first-party 10.6-inch Surface tablet.  However, much like Apple, Inc.'s (AAPL) 2010 iPad launch, its initial production run is constrained by its bleeding-edge hardware and manufacturing processes.  The Microsoft tablet is built with a unique scratch resistant magnesium body, an industry first.

Microsoft Surface
The Microsoft Surface

Apple's iPad sold "only" 15 million units in 2010, but went on to sell 40 million units in 2011 [1][2][3][4].  While Microsoft's objectives with the Surface are quite modest, it surely hopes to follow a similar path in its second year on the market.

Microsoft recently acquired Perceptive Pixel, a company specializing in large-scale multi-touch hardware and is looking to launch new devices with large multi-touch displays.

Sources: Digital WPC, Mary Jo Foley



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Still iffy on Win 8.
By stm1185 on 7/10/2012 8:13:30 PM , Rating: 2
I have been using the release preview on an old HP (A64 5k+,2gb ram, 6600gt) I use for media streaming, and its done wonders for that system. It boots about 5x faster, it's much more responsive, and the animations are fluid. It functions great on a TV and I love using it over XP for that purpose.

But then I just can't see myself wanting that Metro interface on my main PC, the one I use for production and gaming. I want my free floating Windows, not a box on a wall.




RE: Still iffy on Win 8.
By Kurz on 7/11/2012 9:11:54 AM , Rating: 2
Yea a lot of people are iffy on it... I just wish they kept the code base for regular windows.


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