Windows 8 tablet sooner than we expect?

Windows 8 tablet sooner than we expect?

Summary: Windows 8 is supposed to embrace the tablet form better than anything produced to date. Information leaked by Dell implies it will release a Windows 8 tablet in Q1 of 2012. Can that timetable be met?


Microsoft is scrambling to get some traction in the slippery tablet space, even though it invented the genre back in 2002. The next version of Windows, called Windows 8 for now, is supposed to embrace the tablet form better than anything Microsoft has produced to date. That should be a long way out, but information leaked by Dell implies it will release a Windows 8 tablet in Q1 of 2012. Can that timetable be met?

ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley isn't betting the farm, but offers an interesting scenario that would allow such aggressive timing on Dell's part. Her conjecture, and she makes it clear that's all it is, has Microsoft releasing the system-on-a-chip (SoC) version of Windows 8 first, ahead of the regular versions of Windows for the desktop. Her reasoning is that Microsoft has made it clear it is porting Windows to the ARM platform for quite some time, and pushing it first would allow Dell to meet this aggressive schedule of releasing a Windows 8 tablet early in 2012.

This makes sense for Microsoft, as it would allow them to get back in the tablet game sooner, rather than later. The folks in Redmond need to do this, as the tablet segment is expected to exhibit continued growth for the foreseeable future, and the longer Windows 8 is delayed the further behind it will fall. It is clear that Windows 7 on touch tablets is not going to get Microsoft any tablet market share, so perhaps Windows 8 will be better for producing compelling products. I hope Microsoft does whatever is necessary to speed up the effort to bring a compelling competitor in the tablet space. I also hope they realize to make a good showing in the tablet segment, it's not just the form factor, nor the OS, but also a good app ecosystem is required that can take advantage of the touch experience.

Topics: Tablets, Hardware, Laptops, Mobility, Windows

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  • Still, very late to market, and consumers, businesses will already be using

    the competition.
    • RE: Windows 8 tablet sooner than we expect?

      thats nonsense. Estimate is 20-50 million tablets shipped in 2011. Since 1 million pcs are currently shipped per day, 20-50 million is only a fraction. No reason why 2012 launch would be late.

      People kept saying the same about android being late to compete with iphone. fast forward 3 years and its over taking iphone.
    • Exactly right! Just like they were late to gaming platforms and failed.

      And, just like they were late to graphical PC interfaces and failed. Just like they were late to word processing and failed. Just like they were late to OSes and failed.<br><br>When will Microsoft learn that everything they try is doomed to failure.
      • Exactly right! Just like they were late to gaming platforms and failed.

        Yes, lots of latecomers coming in now - Android, Ubuntu, Google Chrome, Firefox, Openoffice (Libreoffice), to name a few - and they're doomed to failure too ... especially since they're free.
      • orionds: Good points, and one that I forgot, which is BIG,

        where Microsoft was also late to the game of browsers with Internet Explorer, and they failed there too!
  • Flop in the making

    Maybe if blubber Ballmer had spent more time developing a true tablet device instead of laughing at the iPad he wouldn't be competing with iPad 3 when he releases his version 1.0 of his device. Oh did ZDNet fail to mention Mac outpaced the PC industry AGAIN?
    Ron Burgundy
    • RE: Windows 8 tablet sooner than we expect?

      @Ron Burgundy version 1.0? hey idiot, Microsoft INVENTED the tablet space back in 2002. Maybe they didn't do a good job of making it finger friendly, but Windows 8 would be version FOUR (XP, Vista, 7 and now 8).
      • RE: Windows 8 tablet sooner than we expect?

        INVENTED? I recall them showing a CONCEPT design. Don't recall ever seeing a tablet with Microsoft branded on it. Of course, at the same time you had been able to buy laptops from OEMs that flipped around to become tablets for a couple of years before 2002.

        I would also utterly disagree that even Windows 7 on the Dell Duo is a tablet. It fails as a tablet: too heavy, too little battery, huge loss of continuity on the screen when you flip it from landscape to portrait, and it still doesn't read your finger (or even a stylus) reliably. It's not like the prototype hasn't been out there for the last 4 years in the iPhone.

        As for Windows 8: if it's not until 2012, forget it. Totally whiffed at the tee.

        BTW, "idiot" has no place here. Keep it civil.
      • gallee, Which tablet are you talking about?

        Tablet with window logo was around 10 years. Next time buying a decent one. For my window 7 tablet - battery is fine. touch, no problem.
      • RE: Windows 8 tablet sooner than we expect?

        @terrygore@... Hey idiot... then with that knowledge of history you should be painfully aware of MS's failure to have success in the commercial market, and even niche markets recognizing their solution as barely "good enough" to get by.

        The success of the iPad has little to do with the tablet format. It is successful because of the simplified, easy to use (even for mom & dad) operating system.
        It is the antithesis of the complexity of Windows, quite literally.

        Users have already voted - as you obviously know:
        Complex Windows on a tablet - no one buys that.
        Simple tablet OS on a tablet - everyone wants that.

        iOS on a tablet has been successful. Android on a tablet will be successful. WebOS on a tablet can be successful. Literally because they are not Windows.
        People are already intimidated by the ever-growing complexity of Windows, of MS's simplification strategy of "adding another layer" and "adding another wizard" and obfuscating and evolving continuously is simply paradoxical.
        You must realize - based literally on the history you claim to be proud to know - that Windows on a tablet has proven itself to be a failure time and time again.
        ANOTHER layer on Windows won't change a thing - it exacerbates the very problem that leads to the success of the iPad. MS has already dug their own grave - history bears this truth.
      • More like version 6 ...

        @terrygore@ ... because the roots of Windows 8 "Tablet Edition" are still Windows. (Remember, Windows 7 is version NT 6.1.) I'd argue that Windows XP "Tablet Edition" was ahead of it's time. <br><br>There was no 'cloud' in 2002 so the paradigm for tablets was a "clipboard" with a "pen" (stylus). Nor was low-cost hardware available for tablets to be light and thin and low-powered. That's all changed.<br><br>The iPad (really little more than a giant iPod Touch) changed the paradigm to be a thin-client to the cloud. MS may have to play catch-up to win-over the Gen-X-ers and the Millennials the iPad was designed for but counting Microsoft out of any market is naive.
        M Wagner
      • RE: Windows 8 tablet sooner than we expect?


        Remember there was no widespread availability of Wi-Fi, no 3G, no great broadband speeds and we had no atom processors. No wonder the tablet in 2002 failed, its not MS fault.

        They came up with an idea which was too early for its time.
    • RE: Windows 8 tablet sooner than we expect?

      @Ron Burgundy Donnie sheesh, MS invented the market... and you - as usual - forget one very important market. The enterprise. iPad is here at our office, but has a hard time gaining traction. a Windows would do better because of (assumed) integration with everything that is there now.
    • RE: Windows 8 tablet sooner than we expect?

      @ terrygore@...
      If you worked at hospitals you would have seen them. That was the main target of tablets in the early and mid 2000s and to a much smaller degree, warehouses were using them.
  • Another thing, MS is barking up the wrong tree by insisting on Windows for

    tablets. Win32 applications have to be re-written for a tablet, and of course x86 applications have to at least be re-compiled and tested on ARM. So, the existing catalog of Win32 applications is of little use for tablet customers. Microsoft needs to be out summer 2011 with a viable tablet OS, not in time for Christmas 2012.
    • RE: Windows 8 tablet sooner than we expect?


      At least they are finally working on it. They should have been removing their dependency from x86 10 years ago. The writing was certainly on the wall that the platform would not last forever at that point. Even if they miss out on the first couple generations of tablets at least they can move in the direction of hardware non-dependency.
      Michael Kelly
      • RE: Windows 8 tablet sooner than we expect?

        @Michael Kelly

        Must have never heard of Windows NT on Alpha, well over ten years ago.
    • RE: Windows 8 tablet sooner than we expect?

      Not to worry, MS always delivers on schedule.

      MS still does not get the tablet, even after Apple has laid the successful formula at its feet. Android picked up on this and so did HP(Palm) but MS has no vision beyond W7/8. The Tablet has never worked for Windows except in very small niche markets. Windows/tablets are just a poor users experience on many levels and the market will validate this...AGAIN.
  • that's FUD based on M$ vaporware

    nothing new here folks!
    But this time is not going to work.
    Linux Geek
    • RE: Windows 8 tablet sooner than we expect?

      @Linux Geek
      Considering your moniker, I don't think anything you say has value. Go troll somewhere else.