Microsoft showed some details of its new tablet
30 Aug 2011 - By Omar Yesid Mariño+
At the Tech.Ed conference that took place in Auckland (New Zealand), Microsoft introduced its new Slate tablet very cautiously. This product will be part of the next generation in the Windows Devices category.
According to different reports, the Microsoft tablet will have a Quad-Core processor and run on Windows (7? 8?). And it is also believed that it will have a removable battery.
Honestly, there is practically zero official information about the features of this new gadget because Microsoft didn’t give many information about it but, hopefully, there will be more details at the Windows BUILD conference to take place in September.
Anyway, the Tech.Ed attendees in New Zealand could take a look at this tablet with Windows OS.
In addition, two pictures of the tablet (see them below) were published online by Alan Burchill, a guy that considers himself as a Microsoft fan and IT consultant. He was present in a conference with Patrick Hevesi, the Enterprise Technology Architect at Microsoft. According to Mary Jo Foley from ZDnet, initially Burchill said that the tablet would be given to the attendees of an “upcoming Microsoft event”, but these claims were not officially confirmed, so, apparently, it’s only a rumor without any substance. Of course, the upcoming event is the Microsoft BUILD conference which is scheduled to begin in two weeks (on September 13).
As said before, the features of this mysterious Quad-Core gadget were not released and, honestly, the pictures are not enough to figure out the functions and specs of the new product. Burchill’s images only show us a sort of thin tablet with two buttons on a side… but, of course, these images are better than nothing. Obviously, it’s not clear what maker is involved in the production process of this enigmatic Quad-Core Slate or what specific processor will be used.
During a video interview before starting his conference in the Tech.Ed event, Hevesi unveiled some few details about this new Windows-based Quad-Core tablet. However, he didn’t show the tablet on the video. According to him, there is an ultra-thin Quad-Core Slate with a look very similar to the iPad 2 (maybe the same in the pictures) with a 1080p high-definition screen, a battery that last up to 8 hours after a full charge, and a Windows 7 interface. The release date, as you can imagine, is unknown at this time.
Is something peculiar happening?
Besides the unconfirmed and mysterious rumors about free tablets for the BUILD conference attendees, there is something strange: Hevesi’s video is not available anymore. It was deleted from the website of the Microsoft Tech Ed New Zealand event with no explanation. It’s really strange. Unless it was due to a technical error.
So now there is room for speculations and more rumors. Is Microsoft not happy with Hevesi’s interview after it was covered by some well-known media in North America? Do they want a different approach? or just want to create more expectation? Anyway, maybe it is just a marketing strategy to increase the coverage of the launch. So who knows. Unfortunately, there is no a copy of the video on YouTube 🙂 (a least at the time of this writing).
If that is not a technical issue, then it’s possible that there is some confidentiality agreement and Hevesi’s interview could be violating this agreement. In any event, it would be great if Microsoft makes an official statement to stop the speculations out there. We’ll see.
A boom of Quad-Core tablets
The Quad-Core tablets are supposed to be the most trendy gadgets for the upcoming months. In May, some Nvidia’s representatives said that it would be expected that Android tablets with Quad-Core processors (using ARM-based Kal-El chips) become available for sale in September.
Qualcomm and Texas Instruments are also making ARM Quad-Core chips for tablets. In June, Texas Instruments announced the OMAP4470 processor for tablets which was designed to work with Windows 8.
But you shouldn’t expect to see any of these processors in the mysterious tablet with Windows 7 that Microsoft was showing in New Zealand. At this time, Windows 7 only works with processors that are built under the architecture of the Intel x86 chips (which is different than ARM architecture). This situation will be different when Microsoft launches its new operating system for x86 and ARM processors: Windows 8.
(PS: However, an additional “rumor” said that the Slate tablet could also run Windows 8. Or maybe Microsoft is going to launch several versions).
Disclaimer - Category: Tablet