Report: Microsoft shows off quad-core Windows slate. Could this be its Build give-away?

Report: Microsoft shows off quad-core Windows slate. Could this be its Build give-away?

Summary: Microsoft officials showed off some new devices at this week's Tech Ed New Zealand show -- none more potentially interesting than an unnamed quad-core Windows slate. Could this be its give-away for the upcoming Build conference?

SHARE:

There have been some interesting tidbits coming out of the Microsoft Tech Ed New Zealand show this week, including information on a couple of new "Mango" phones in the works. (One of which, in engineering prototype stage, reportedly sports the front-facing camera that Microsoft officials have acknowledged will be available on some Mango phones.)

Microsoft officials apparently showed off a new quad-core Windows slate in the works, according to a report by Alan Burchill, an IT consultant, Microsoft Most Valuable Professional and attendee of the Tech Ed show.

Burchill postd a blog entry and a couple of photos showing a demonstration by Microsoft speakers of an unnamed quad-core slate.

"What is very interesting is that device was a 'Quad Core Windows Slate that will be give(n) out at an upcoming Microsoft Event'… Hmmm…" Burchill wrote.

Update: Since I posted, Burchill has removed this quote from his post, with no word as to why....

Microsoft, unsurprisingly, has said nothing about any give-away plans at its upcoming Build Conference. Officials haven't even confirmed that attendees will get the Windows 8 bits (either in developer preview or beta form). But most Microsoft watchers are expecting Microsoft to provide paying attendees with a test build of Windows 8, and maybe some kind of PC or slate prototype to use to develop applications for the coming operating system.

Another attendee of the Tech Ed New Zealand session where the aforementioned Windows slate  was shown told me the device shown was running Windows 7. He said he didn't hear any promises during the session about Microsoft giving out these devices at Build. Instead, he said that he believed Microsoft is planning to unveil and showcase this slate device at the Build conference. (If they do that, I'd expect they'd tout the device as Windows 8-ready.)

I asked a spokesperson with Microsoft's Windows client team to confirm or deny Burchill's report that this quad-core Windows slate will be a Build give-away and was told the company had no comment on any part of his report.

A video of the session Burchill covered is not yet publicly available. But an earlier clip (taped before the session) with one of the speakers is available. In that clip, Microsoft Enterprise Technology Architect Patrick Hevesi  noted that there are quad-core Windows slates coming later this year that will offer eight hours of battery life, a 10-inch HD screen and 1080p playback. (That sounds suspiciously like the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer -- expected to ship with Windows 8 in 2012 -- doesn't it?)

Nvidia, Qualcomm and Texas Instruments execs have all talked up their coming quad-core chips, and said that tablets powered by these processors could be in the market before the end of this year.

In related news, Microsoft also showed off its coming Lync communications client at TechEd New Zealand. Microsoft officials said earlier this year to expect the Lync client for Windows Phone to be out in the "Mango timeframe." Officials demonstrated it running on Windows Phone Mango during the show. Versions of the Lync client are in the works for the other major smartphone platforms, as well.

Topics: Software, Hardware, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Processors, Windows

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

44 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • RE: Report: Microsoft shows off quad-core Windows slate. Could this be its Build give-away?

    Let me be the first to ask: Can you get an extra one for me?

    Or just take Thurrott's, he's not a tablet guy anyway.

    :D
    wendellgee2
  • RE: Report: Microsoft shows off quad-core Windows slate. Could this be its Build give-away?

    Wow, I wish I would have bought tickets! Dang!
    moorster
  • Might AMD also be a possibility?

    The AMD chief said that AMD will be powering a Windows 8 slate.
    peter_erskine@...
    • RE: Report: Microsoft shows off quad-core Windows slate. Could this be its Build give-away?

      @peter_erskine@...
      I wouldn't be surprised... I think Microsoft would want all of its partners there to show off what OS they have to offer.
      audidiablo
  • Giving away any tablets, even quad cores, would be an EPIC FAIL if they

    arent running W8. That said I fully expect MS to be handing out W8 tablets. Wish I was going to be there to get one...
    Johnny Vegas
    • Not so....

      @Johnny Vegas <br>If they can pull off the specs even with Win7 on it you would have the opening salvo. Then add that it is Win8 ready and you get a free upgrade if desired...<br><br>I'll take one <img border="0" src="http://www.cnet.com/i/mb/emoticons/grin.gif" alt="grin">
      rhonin
    • RE: Report: Microsoft shows off quad-core Windows slate. Could this be its Build give-away?

      @Johnny Vegas - If they're quad core tablets with 8 hours of battery life, I think it safe to say that they're ARM based. If they're ARM based, they'll be running Win8 since that's the first version of Windows (excl. Windows CE) that runs on ARM.
      bitcrazed
      • RE: Report: Microsoft shows off quad-core Windows slate. Could this be its Build give-away?

        @bitcrazed

        Very good point. There's no way a quad core i7 (e.g.) could get anywhere near enough battery life for a tablet.
        allusernamestaken
      • RE: Report: Microsoft shows off quad-core Windows slate. Could this be its Build give-away?

        [i]Very good point. There's no way a quad core i7 (e.g.) could get anywhere near enough battery life for a tablet.[/i]

        That's besides the point. If the wintards have a tablet that will do AutoCAD standing up with only an hour of battery-life, then that's that's a great victory in spite of being tethered to a power outlet all the time.
        ScorpioBlue
  • I hope it has a no-stick surface

    My HP Pavilion could fry eggs only they would stick and break--on over medium.

    Hate that. pfffft.
    Dietrich T. Schmitz *Your
    • RE: Report: Microsoft shows off quad-core Windows slate. Could this be its Build give-away?

      @Dietrich T. Schmitz * Your Linux Advocate <br><br>Did you cry?
      audidiablo
    • RE: Report: Microsoft shows off quad-core Windows slate. Could this be its Build give-away?

      @Dietrich T. Schmitz * Your Linux Advocate
      Didn't you know that you shouldn't put it on your lap unless you are wearing asbestos shorts...?
      dazzlingd
  • RE: Report: Microsoft shows off quad-core Windows slate. Could this be its Build give-away?

    Somebody grab me one! :O
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
    • RE: Report: Microsoft shows off quad-core Windows slate. Could this be its Build give-away?

      Heheh... you paint the picture of a barrel full of tablets with people grabbing them by the handful. Now that would be pretty awesome.
      scH4MMER
      • RE: Report: Microsoft shows off quad-core Windows slate. Could this be its Build give-away?

        @scH4MMER

        If it has the Microsoft logo on it, Cylon will be the first in line with his mouth wide open, head jerked back like a PEZ.

        lol...
        ScorpioBlue
  • RE: Report: Microsoft shows off quad-core Windows slate. Could this be its Build give-away?

    Oh I hope it's true. Plus I wouldn't mind a brand new Nokia WP7 to go along with it :)
    rwalrond
  • RE: Report: Microsoft shows off quad-core Windows slate. Could this be its Build give-away?

    So, how would they cool a quad core x86 / x64 processor? The current laptops can burn the laps... So the tablet would burn the hands?
    browser.
    • RE: Report: Microsoft shows off quad-core Windows slate. Could this be its Build give-away?

      @browser. <br><br><br>Magical <img border="0" src="http://www.cnet.com/i/mb/emoticons/happy.gif" alt="happy">
      whatagenda
    • RE: Report: Microsoft shows off quad-core Windows slate. Could this be its Build give-away?

      @browser. hmm, did they say it was x86?
      rwalrond
    • RE: Report: Microsoft shows off quad-core Windows slate. Could this be its Build give-away?

      @browser. <br><br>ARM chips? New technology? Does your dual or quad core Android phones burn your hands? Maybe your privacy but not your hands!
      audidiablo