Microsoft “ready to show off Windows 8 tablet”

Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer could use his keynote speech at next month’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) to provide the first glimpse of Windows 8, according to reports.


Ballmer is expected to show the new operating system running on a tablet device, a source told the New York Times. Microsoft has been rumoured to be working on an entirely touch-based user interface for Windows 8, unlike the barely modified touch experience on offer in Windows 7.


PC Pro’s Windows 8 wish list

The Windows 8 tablet will form only part of a tablet onslaught from Microsoft, as the company attempts to claw back ground lost to Apple.

Ballmer will present “a slew of new tablets” at the show, reports the New York Times, including models from Dell and Samsung – the latter of which chose Android for its debut tablet, the Galaxy Tab.

The newspaper’s sources claim the Samsung tablet will be “similar in size and shape to the Apple iPad, although it is not as thin. It also includes a unique and slick keyboard that slides out from below for easy typing.”

It’s not the first time Ballmer has used his CES keynote to talk tablets. At this year’s show the Microsoft boss showed off a HP tablet running Windows 7, in what was a thinly veiled spoiler for Apple’s forthcoming iPad. The HP tablet has still yet to arrive on the market.

In a bid to rejuvenate Windows’ chances in the tablet market, Microsoft is believed to be encouraging developers to deliver HTML5-based apps for the devices, mirroring Google’s approach to its Chrome Web Store. The move could create an interesting dilemma for developers, with Apple’s “walled garden” App Store on the one hand, and Microsoft and Google offering the cross-platform flexibility of HTML5-based apps.

PC Pro will be reporting live from CES and the Ballmer keynote from 5 January 2011.

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