updated 01:35 pm EDT, Wed July 6, 2011
Microsoft CES 2012 keynote plans leak
Microsoft's CES 2012 keynote has not only been narrowed down but may give the first publicly available copy of Windows 8, both official and unofficial sources said Wednesday. CEO Steve Ballmer was confirmed to be taking the stage on the evening of January 9, unusually at Las Vegas' The Venetian hotel and not the usual Hilton Center venue. The executive has traditionally given the CES keynote.
Tips to WinRumors, however, suggest that the focus will be almost exclusively on Windows 8. The company is expected to show the first and possibly only test version of Windows 8 available to the general public. Ballmer is also expected to focus heavily on rivalling the iPad and to demo prototypes of ARM- and Intel-based Windows 8 tablets.
Windows 8 was long expected to be a centerpiece of any CES presentations from Microsoft but is steadily gaining importance. Leaks have emerged that, despite its calm image, Microsoft may have panicked at losing the tablet market almost instantly to the iPad. Microsoft officially adheres to a rigid three-year schedule but is now believed to be rushing the gold master date to April to get the OS out and established well before the holidays next year.
The platform is Microsoft's biggest gamble and drops the traditional Windows desktop in favor of a Windows Phone 7-derived tile interface where all elements are genuinely optimized for finger touch.