Microsoft may have opted out of appearing at International CES 2013, but it seems it didn’t even have to be there as its OEM partners have proudly taken up the Windows 8 flag, with plenty of notebooks, tablets, hybrids and new innovations on show at the Las Vegas event.
Windows CMO and CFO Tami Reller was at the event, speaking at the JP Morgan Tech Forum, where she announced that Windows 8 has sold 60m licenses to date. This figure includes upgrades from older platforms as well as sales to OEMs manufacturing new devices, and shows a similar sales trajectory as was seen with Windows 7.
Microsoft also reports that there are now over 1,700 Windows 8 and Windows RT-certified systems available on the market. The Windows Store is also growing and now has four times the number of apps that it had at launch in October, with 10,000 applications added in the last month alone, and downloads have surpassed 100m.
While these numbers have a lot to say for Windows 8’s present performance, the devices on show at CES are aimed at tempting more users to jump on board with the new operating system. We’ve already seen Lenovo’s giant 27-inch ‘table’ computer, Samsung’s new Series 7 notebooks, HP’s low-cost Pavilion TouchSmart Sleekbook, Panasonic’s 20-inch 4K tablet and its new Windows 8 Pro Toughpad, and even an eye-tracking technology peripheral from Tobii – but what else does CES have to offer from Windows 8?
From Asus we have the lightweight and ultra-portable Transformer Book TX300CA, a hybrid computer with a 13-inch multi-touch display that starts at a low price of US$499.
Asus also has the VivoTab Smart Tablet, a 10.1-inch tablet featuring an Intel Atom Z2760 dual-core processor and an LED-backlit HD display with IPS technology. Claiming up to 9.5 hours of battery life, the VivoTab is compatible with the TanSleeve Keyboard, a tablet accessory that’s a cover, keyboard and stand in one.
As well as new TVs, cameras, camcorders, speakers and smartphones, Sony is showcasing its latest Vaio computers at CES, including the Vaio T15, the 15-inch successor to the T13. The ultrabook features a built-in webcam with an image sensor that allows users to interact with the computer using motion gestures with Vaio Gesture Control.
With tablets and laptops increasingly used for viewing and streaming film and TV, why not let a TV manufacturer get in on the mix? Primarily a maker of TV sets, Vizio is taking on the PC market in 2013 with a range of Windows 8 products.
The 14-inch version of its Thin + Light series of touch-enabled notebooks comes with a HD touchscreen display powered by AMD’s A10 quad-core processor, and SRS audio technology.
The 11.6-inch Tablet PC is thin and light with a full-HD touchscreen, premium sound and 64GB of storage.
And the 24-inch All-in-One Touch desktop PC comes with premium entertainment features alongside its large, full-HD touchscreen display. SRS technology and a 2.1 subwoofer serve to enhance audio quality, while a remote control and dual HDMI inputs make this computer more of an entertainment centre, powered by an AMD A10 quad-core processor.
Lenovo have more than just the IdeaCentre Horizon table PC on show at CES, though this has admittedly taken a lot of the limelight and could be a game-changer for family computing.
The ThinkPad Helix is a premium convertible featuring Lenovo’s unique and flexible ‘rip and flip’ design. The device is also equipped with NFC technology and a 4G-enabled option will be available.
Another flexible convertible, the IdeaPad Yoga 11S features a flip and fold 360-degree hinge, and this 11.6-inch version with HD IPS display comes with a new low-power line-up from Intel of up to third-generation Intel Core i5 processors.
The Japanese brand is packing the big guns for Windows 8 with the Qosmio X875, a powerful gaming laptop with a 1TB hard drive, third-generation Intel Core processor, Nvidia GeForce GTX 670M graphics processor, and 3GB of GDDR5 discrete graphics memory to take on graphic-intensive workloads and 3D gaming. The Qosmio also looks impressive with Toshiba’s Black Widow styling, a diamond-textured aluminium body, a raised LED-backlit keyboard, and the glowing red LED Qosmio logo on the cover.