Release Approaching Quickly: Windows 8 Tablets Could Arrive for Holidays

Nokia Windows8 Tablet

Windows 8 tablets could arrive in November, according to sources who spoke to CNET

Finally, we may know when Windows 8 tablets could arrive: November

It seems we’ve been writing about when Windows 8 tablets will arrive since the Windows 8 Consumer Preview went live but, as we’re halfway through May, sources speaking to CNET claim we’ll start seeing the Windows 8 tablets in winter.

The source speaking to CNET said the schedule is tight, due to Windows 8 being a new OS that’s running on multiple architectures: ARM, Intel and AMD. The source added that more than 50 percent of the more than dozen designs will be hybrid devices, which should be no surprise as that’s all OEMs seem to be showing off. I do think hybrid devices can work with Windows 8, though, because of the dual OS approach. Hopefully they won’t filter through to the other operating systems, though judging by Tim Cook’s dislike of the form factor – saying the experience is compromised – the designs look to be Windows-only for now.

All of the devices will use Clover Trail Atom chip, the source says, which is Intel’s first dual-core Atom design based on its 32-nanometer process technology. There will also be higher end hybrid devices that use Ivy Bridge processors, though no specific information was shared on those devices. It would make sense for Microsoft to appeal to a range of consumers with the tablets, ensuring they appeal to all price points.

Hardware, or software>

Intel is also working on a chip called Bay Trail, the 22-nanometer follow up to Clover Trail according to the source. It was described as having similar battery life to the Clover Trail, and will have built-in security feature and Infineon 3G/4G silicon inside. The Bay Trail chip would also use Intel’s own graphics card, though again there’s no release date.

Previous rumors had pointed towards Microsoft only pushing out a handful of ARM devices for Windows 8 – the versions that will run Windows 8 Pro (previously Windows RT) that comes with Windows Media Center.

Is hardware the main concern, though? Not at all. Microsoft has to be focusing on well-designed hardware, but having a well-designed OS is key. Windows 8 is unique because it’s a dramatic a shift from previous versions.

Published: Tuesday, May 15th, 2012 Last Modified: May 15, 2012

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