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Microsoft Unveiling Windows 8 on Tablet Next Week

By - Source: Reuters | B 41 comments

Microsoft will reportedly showcase Windows 8 running on a Samsung tablet next week during Microsoft's BUILD developers conference.

Microsoft's Steven Sinofsky will reportedly show Windows 8 running on a Samsung tablet next week during Microsoft's BUILD developers' conference in California from September 13-16.

As one unnamed source specifies, this will be the South Korea-based company's first collaboration with the Windows/Xbox giant in its hardware device division. Analysts believe this collaboration is part of Samsung's strategy to pull away from relying solely on Google's Android operating system which currently saturates its portfolio of smartphones and tablets.

"It's a big deal," said Todd Lowenstein, portfolio manager at HighMark Capital Management, which holds Microsoft shares. "Investors are hungry to see how [Microsoft is] going to join where the market's going. They've been lagging and they need to catch up and surpass what's going on, to demonstrate they truly are an innovative company."

This won't be the first time Microsoft has officially unveiled a tablet. Bill Gates introduced the first model during the Comdex tech show back in November 2001, but it was much too large for consumers to catch on. The company didn't reveal another tablet design again until Ballmer's CES presentation of the HP model back in 2010, but that never landed on the market.

That said, new Windows 8 tablets aren't expected to land on store shelves for another 12 months. By then, an army of new Android "Ice Cream Sandwich" tablets will have invaded the market, and Apple will likely have released its third-generation iPad. Given the industry's quick shift in focus to mobile computing (and its subsequent rapid growth), there's quite a lot riding on Microsft's development of its modular Windows 8 platform and how it will perform on tablets twelve months down the road.

"Windows 8 might actually matter if they can do the touch-screen innovation," said Michael Yoshikami, Chief Executive of fund manager YCMNET Advisors. "Otherwise Windows 8 is just Windows 7 with one more number."

But Microsoft will need more than just a cool OS running on the portable hardware. Like Apple, Microsoft will need a strong mobile ecosystem. The company is hard at work creating the supporting environment, bridging together its PC, console and smartphones platforms. Xbox LIVE is already a part of Windows Phone 7, and will be integrated into Windows 8. The company is also working on an integrated Windows App Store that is expected to reel in developers currently creating apps for iOS and Android over to a Windows environment spanning all four hardware environments.

"Five years ago I would have said 80 percent of the startups or ventures who came to pitch us pulled out their laptop and started showing us their PowerPoint presentation," said Matt McIlwain, managing director at Seattle-based venture capital firm Madrona Venture Group. "Now 80 percent pull out their Mac. If I were Steve Ballmer, that would be concerning to me."

There's no question that a lot of hype surrounds Windows 8, especially after Microsoft showed the upcoming OS and Office components running on ARM SoCs at CES 2011 back in January.

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Top Comments
  • 12 Hide
    velocityg4 , September 8, 2011 4:25 PM
    A tablet that can run full versions of Word, Excel, Quickbooks and other full versions of major desktop programs would be great. Plus being able to run expensive and impossible to replace software that target specific industries say party equipment rental, vending machine tracking, &c. If this thing also has a high res display, a highly accurate touch interface and the ability to use a pen input for actually writing this could give the iPad a run for the money.

    I think an accurate pen input is critical. That way you can hold the tablet with one hand and write with the other. When taking notes you can actually draw diagrams with the notes. Then you can actually walk around with the thing and write easily. When in class you can replace paper for note taking something that the laptop fails at when you have a professor that jumps about in their ramblings or starts drawing diagrams, formulas, &c.
Other Comments
  • 12 Hide
    velocityg4 , September 8, 2011 4:25 PM
    A tablet that can run full versions of Word, Excel, Quickbooks and other full versions of major desktop programs would be great. Plus being able to run expensive and impossible to replace software that target specific industries say party equipment rental, vending machine tracking, &c. If this thing also has a high res display, a highly accurate touch interface and the ability to use a pen input for actually writing this could give the iPad a run for the money.

    I think an accurate pen input is critical. That way you can hold the tablet with one hand and write with the other. When taking notes you can actually draw diagrams with the notes. Then you can actually walk around with the thing and write easily. When in class you can replace paper for note taking something that the laptop fails at when you have a professor that jumps about in their ramblings or starts drawing diagrams, formulas, &c.
  • Display all 41 comments.
  • 3 Hide
    Anonymous , September 8, 2011 4:47 PM
    It sure would be cool to see something from Samsung with 3/4G/LTE like the "Samsung Galaxy S II Smartphone" (or the "Samsung Galaxy 3D" or the Samsung Note") running Win8 - heck ANY 4-5" AMOLED Screen CellPhone running Win8 !

    With Win8 running on ARM it should not be too big a stretch to pull off and think how well your Phone would integrate with your Desktop or Laptop.


    When you think they say "Buy Buy Apple" your wrong, it's "bye-bye Apple" !
  • 9 Hide
    twu , September 8, 2011 5:00 PM
    reggierayWhen I read this "to demonstrate they truly are an innovative company." I had to laugh. MS has copied almost everything they have ever done, including this tablet OS. Face it, Apple paved the way. Google copied and followed suit with Android.



    I need a laugh and found one. Copied? hahahahah.. LOL.
  • -5 Hide
    drwho1 , September 8, 2011 5:02 PM
    Windows 8 should stay on tablets alone.
  • 7 Hide
    captaincharisma , September 8, 2011 5:15 PM
    drwho1Windows 8 should stay on tablets alone.


    why? its not like you will be forced to use the tablet interface when using it on a computer
  • -2 Hide
    acadia11 , September 8, 2011 5:19 PM
    Can't wait, anyone want to buy my ipad2?
  • 1 Hide
    kal326 , September 8, 2011 5:19 PM
    velocityg4A tablet that can run full versions of Word, Excel, Quickbooks and other full versions of major desktop programs would be great. Plus being able to run expensive and impossible to replace software that target specific industries say party equipment rental, vending machine tracking, &c. If this thing also has a high res display, a highly accurate touch interface and the ability to use a pen input for actually writing this could give the iPad a run for the money.I think an accurate pen input is critical. That way you can hold the tablet with one hand and write with the other. When taking notes you can actually draw diagrams with the notes. Then you can actually walk around with the thing and write easily. When in class you can replace paper for note taking something that the laptop fails at when you have a professor that jumps about in their ramblings or starts drawing diagrams, formulas, &c.

    Everything you just described was suppose to be what the Tablet PC was. However, it never really got off the ground. Now that there are more powerful SOC platforms out there it might actually happen. In terms of getting existing expensive and complex apps out on tablets in the mobile space, that is a much more difficult prospect. If Microsoft could come up with a application virtualization platform that had a tablet friendly input layer that could work. Similar to remote apps, but with a layer to help with the lack of a keyboard and mouse in using the applications.
  • 6 Hide
    acadia11 , September 8, 2011 5:21 PM
    drwho1Windows 8 should stay on tablets alone.


    Ok, let's try this again for people that can't do remedial research, Windows 8 gives the user the option of having the metro UI or the classic windows 7 UI. It doesn't force you to use either one, it's up to the user. For the tablet and phones the metro UI is the default, for the desktop there is no default the user decides.
  • 0 Hide
    acadia11 , September 8, 2011 5:24 PM
    kal326Everything you just described was suppose to be what the Tablet PC was. However, it never really got off the ground. Now that there are more powerful SOC platforms out there it might actually happen. In terms of getting existing expensive and complex apps out on tablets in the mobile space, that is a much more difficult prospect. If Microsoft could come up with a application virtualization platform that had a tablet friendly input layer that could work. Similar to remote apps, but with a layer to help with the lack of a keyboard and mouse in using the applications.



    This is exactly what windows 8 is supposed to be, that's why it's so exciting. I don't think the Metro UI can change though the way existing windows app work, it only allows for the rewrite to metro ui/windows 8 app, but an existing app would still function with the additional flexibility of touch ability, added on screen keyboard, etc ... but I don't think it changes the fundamental interface to that APP. Like pull down menus, etc ... all that would still be there.
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , September 8, 2011 5:27 PM
    @velocityg4

    it's called the EEE Slate and it's not cheap.... but still when compared to an i5 laptop it's not so bad
  • 4 Hide
    Vladislaus , September 8, 2011 5:33 PM
    reggierayWhen I read this "to demonstrate they truly are an innovative company." I had to laugh. MS has copied almost everything they have ever done, including this tablet OS. Face it, Apple paved the way. Google copied and followed suit with Android.

    Like Apple didn't also copied every single product they have.
  • 1 Hide
    ojas , September 8, 2011 5:35 PM
    I notice that Samsung's teaming up with Apples biggest rival here. They want their revenge for the lawsuits...lol...

    Anyway i think microsoft won't have too much of an issue creating an ecosystem for the tablet Win 8, because since it's apparently going to be the same/similar OS that'll run on desktops, which we all know has a HUGE ecosystem, porting it should not be too much of a prob.

    Quote:
    "Five years ago I would have said 80 (...) "Now 80 percent pull out their Mac. If I were Steve Ballmer, that would be concerning to me."


    Awesome. He seems to think that macbooks aren't laptops. Interesting how marketing works. Can't blame Intel for using the word "ultrabooks" when I read stuff like this...
  • 0 Hide
    drwho1 , September 8, 2011 5:41 PM
    Still I will skip windows 8 same way I skipped "vista" and "windows me".
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , September 8, 2011 5:44 PM
    I predict that 8 will be a game changer in the market and spank apple back down to where it belongs. That was very subjective but Microsoft does have a captive following and android is still an infant. There are only two "relevent" consumer OS's!
  • 0 Hide
    SplatU , September 8, 2011 5:47 PM
    If they release it on a tablet priced at $150 to $200(OMG MS take a loss!??) it would really get it spread around quickly. Then, if its any good,be migrated to other devices and more readily accepted.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , September 8, 2011 5:49 PM
    Funny thing is, much of the stuff coming to win8 wasn't possible before, because of Microsofts "monopoly" on the desktops, from app store to virtual dvd drives, and many other kinds of add-ons just weren't allowed until someone else did it first.
    While I agree that monopolies are bad and can kill innovation, Microsoft was actually prevented from innovating due to the dominating market share. And now people say, like it means something: "someone else did this first"
  • 0 Hide
    monkeysweat , September 8, 2011 6:48 PM
    OMFG I CAN HARDLY WAIT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • 2 Hide
    flclkun , September 8, 2011 7:03 PM
    reggierayWhen I read this "to demonstrate they truly are an innovative company." I had to laugh. MS has copied almost everything they have ever done, including this tablet OS. Face it, Apple paved the way. Google copied and followed suit with Android.


    microsoft had the tablet pc years before the iMaxiPad.

    Go back to engadget/gizmodo macf**
  • 0 Hide
    eddieroolz , September 8, 2011 7:20 PM
    Considering the significant improvements seen with Windows Mobile 6 -> Windows Phone 7 in terms of touch screen feel, I have high hopes that Microsoft can make touchscreen experience a pleasant one with Windows 8.

    Imagine, a device that can really merge the desktop and mobile sector.
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