Windows 8 roadmap tip puts it in late summer 2012
Microsoft's long-term schedule for Windows 8 tablets was given support Thursday night with an apparent leak of the timetable. Sources backed the notion of a Windows 8 public beta being ready at the end of 2011 and a finished version of the OS nearly a year, in time for the "back-to-school season." The timing given to Bloomberg wasn't more specific, but it would be consistent with the third anniversary of Windows 7's Release To Manufacturing (RTM) and Microsoft's preference for three-year gaps between OS releases.
Final Windows Embedded Compact 7 version now out
The final version of Microsoft's Windows Embedded Compact 7 operating system for portable electronics devices is now available for download. The 180-day trial of the mobile OS, codenamed Chelan, is meant for use in phones, medical devices, industrial automation products and retail systems, in addition to tablets such as the 10-inch Eee Pad EP101TC. Microsoft said devices running Windows Embedded are meant for info and media consumption rather than content creation on full-blown Windows 7.
ASUS previews Eee Pad EP101TC in photos
ASUS today geared up for its CES unveilings by providing a teaser of the smaller of its two Eee Pads, the EP101TC. The 10-inch slate should be relatively thin and upscale, with a carbon-effect textured back. Also on show at Style are HDMI, USB 3.0 and a keyboard attachment, likely a dock, that should follow the basic philosophy of attachments like those for the iPad and Galaxy Tab.
Windows for ARM tipped at Microsoft CES keynote
(Update with extra leaked details) Microsoft is planning to show at least some form of Windows written for ARM processors at its tablet-driven keynote event, a pair of sources leaked on Tuesday. The mobile-optimized version would last longer on battery and would be better-tuned to tablets. What hardware if any would be attached to the platform wasn't mentioned by Bloomberg's insiders, but at least one device is likely.
Windows exec admits iPad hurting netbook sales
Microsoft's Windows product management GM Gavriella Schuster surprised the industry with remarks that the iPad was taking away netbook sales. When asked about the trend, the division leader said netbooks were "definitely getting cannibalized" by tablets, of which the iPad is nearly the only model. Both netbooks and tablets were "and" devices that were supplements to a main computer, she stressed to Seattle's Post-Intelligencer, but this made netbooks vulnerable.
ASUS drops netbook aims after iPad impact
The iPad's cooling effect on netbooks may have had its first clear evidence after an ASUS presentation at an investors' conference on Friday. Despite summer being the usual peak for Eee PC sales, CEO Jerry Shen dropped his company's netbook shipment estimates in the season to 1.4 million PCs, reportedly due to Apple's tablet. ASUS now expects to ship between seven and eight million Eee PCs through all of 2010.
ASUS Eee Pad with Android due in March
ASUS chief Jerry Shen on Friday confirmed that his company was developing an Android version of the Eee Pad. The slate should arrive in March and should undercut Apple's iPad with a $399 or lower price. He wouldn't give more details but was quoted by PC World as diverting some of ASUS' smartphone team to tablets to produce the design.
Microsoft Menlo spotted early
Microsoft's largely mysterious Menlo project has been caught running through a newly discovered research paper (PDF). A 4.1-inch, capacitive touch prototype said to be Menlo, although also identified as using Windows Embedded CE 6.0 R2, has been used to show an example of an app codenamed Greenfield that would use an accelerometer, a barometer and more to provide in-building navigation. What's special about Menlo isn't detailed, but the app would give directions involving stairs and elevators rather than just 2D positioning.
Microsoft may chase Apple, servers with ARM
Microsoft surprised the industry on Friday by becoming an ARM licensee. The deal gives it access to the ARM architecture and the rights to develop processors based on the technology. What exact aims weren't explained, but the license would "enhance [its] research and development activities for ARM-based products," according to general manager KD Hallman.
HP vows Win 7 slate soon while addressing Palm
HP at the Fortune Tech conference said its Windows 7-based Slate 500 should arrive in the fall. Executive VP Todd Bradley didn't have details but downplayed rumors that it was dropping the project and said it would focus more on enterprise than the general public. Rumors have put the tablet as late as October, or nearly 10 months after it was first shown at CES.
ASUS may have given up on Win EC7 for tablets
ASUS may have already tossed Windows Embedded Compact 7 aside for the Eee Pad EP101TC in favor of Android if a visit to the company proves true. The device doesn't have more details, including whether it would use Android 3.0, but it would still have its 10-inch display and possibly the 10-hour battery life. A formal debut would take place at CES in January but would be preceded by carriers getting subsidized versions in December.
Lenovo and Toshiba getting faster CPUs
Lenovo's smartbook has been pushed back again while Toshiba is now turning its attention to tablets, rumors asserted today. The former's already delayed Skylight is now believed to be delayed again, to the end of the year, but will get a major performance upgrade in the process. It had originally been scheduled to get a single-core 1GHz Snapdragon processor but should now leap to a dual-core 1.5GHz version in return for the delay.