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Windows 8 tablet UI said due in June with Apple, WP7 cues

updated 04:40 pm EST, Mon February 28, 2011

Windows 8 tablet interface prototype due by June

Microsoft could have the first Windows 8 tablet UI on show by mid-year with a mobile-influenced design, rumors contended on Monday. The first evidence of its redesign is reportedly slated for before the end of June, Microsoft's fiscal year end. The SAI tip suggest it would not only borrow cues from Apple but from the Metro interface in Windows Phone 7.

Related sources, however, rejected analyst claims that Microsoft was speeding up OS development and would have partners with Windows 8 tablets by early 2012. Microsoft wasn't yet providing developers with help for the ARM version of Windows, the tips said, and there was no Professional Developers Conference on tap to rally developers in an appropriate timeframe.

It was true Microsoft had put 1,000 staff working on developing Windows 8 and its ARM port, but this only meant the company was committed to the strategy, the source said. Increasing staff seldom leads to speeding up development time.

Most observers expect Windows 8 to reach its first beta by September, but Microsoft usually has one or more extra beta releases followed by one or more release candidates. The company almost always clings to a three-year release schedule for new operating systems and may have Windows 8 on shelves with tablets by late 2012, three years after Windows 7 shipped.

Windows has struggled to gain acceptance in the tablet space and so far is trailing well behind Android and iOS in market share. Microsoft tried to launch a preemptive strike by creating a halo around the HP Slate as the tablet that would thwart Apple, but it was ultimately delayed and relegated to niche sales. Microsoft later toned down its language and focused on specialized tablet uses such as the Samsung Sliding PC 7 without expectations that they would upset the tablet market.

by MacNN Staff



  1. prl99

    Joined: Dec 1969


    borrow cues?

    In otherwise, simply copy what Apple has done. Or am I missing something original here?

  1. dwoodruff

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Mobile Influenced Design????

    I believe what you mean is iPad ripoff....

  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Would anyone care to guess how much code

    is in Windows 7, compared to, say, Honeycomb or iOS? Wouldn't that make a huge difference in performance running the same ARM processors?

  1. Feathers

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Why is Microsoft, as a company, so singularly incapable of getting "it" no matter what the "it" actually is. How can a company with so many employees be so totally out of touch and so thorough in achieving failure? Zune, Windows Mobile... even the X-Box cost them five billion to get it to where it is today? What is wrong with their mindset? This total ineptitude is a threat to the jobs and families of all the people who currently work for them. I think they need to fire a few thousand middle management in order to save the rest.

  1. SockRolid

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The 21st Century is MS's bag of hurt.

    Microsoft's success last century is going to kill them in this century. They locked in corporate IT, and in turn they themselves are locked in to backward compatibility. Corporate IT is entrenched in their old ways, and Microsoft is forced to cater to them.

    Ballmer is terrified of damaging their Windows + Office business in any way. He will milk his legacy clients for as long as possible to stave off the inevitable decline.

    But Microsoft can still thrown enough money around to appear to care about new technology. Ballmer probably just lumps it in with Microsoft's marketing budget. The cost of doing business.

  1. dimmer

    Joined: Dec 1969



    They could pull something off, I guess, similar to the methodology used to get Windows 7 into corporations by including Virtual PC as an XP "Compatibility Module" -- allowing Windows 8 to be an honest for goodness new OS, removed from the bug-for-bug compatibility they've been struggling to maintain for over a decade. If Windows 8 is to be anything but yet another dull, drone OS (as Ballmer has suggested), this might be their version of "Classic".

    But then, that would mean Win 8 is a whole new, ground up, OS. Anyone think they can pull that off? Come on, someone must? Right?

  1. coffeetime

    Joined: Dec 1969



    MS must be desperate again by having Windows 8 on tablet first even before it hits the desktop. Unless MS is starting yet another naming confusion, Windows 8 is for tablet, Windows 7 is for desktop, Windows 9 is for WP7, and Windows 10 is for server.

  1. samirsshah

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Bravo, Microsoft...

    I will wait with a bated breath for the new UI. And I am happy that you have given enough importance to Metro UI. All Windows Phone 7 apps should run on Windows 8.

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