First Windows 8 tablets and hybrids to hit stores November

14 May 2012

The first wave of Windows 8-based tablet computers are going to hit stores in November. According to reports, Microsoft is under pressure to not only deliver a new operating system (OS) but an operating system that will need to function on four or five different platforms from chip makers Intel, AMD and ARM.

According to CNET, many of the new hardware designs that are expected to arrive in stores in November will be convertables – these are personal computers that can switch from tablet to physical keyboard laptop.

Some of the Intel-based machines will use Intel’s forthcoming ‘Clover Trail’ Atom chip, a dual-core chip based on Intel’s 32-nanometre process, while hybrid machines that double as tablets/laptops are likely to be based on the higher performance Ivy Bridge processor.

Microsoft commits itself to an on-demand apps future

A specific version of Windows 8 – Windows RT – will run on ARM devices.

The move to Windows RT on ARM devices is an enigmatic one if you think that old Windows applications won’t work on these devices. Rather, Microsoft appears to be committing itself to an App Market future.

But this future isn’t guaranteed to be rosy, at least not initially. The news of the new machines comes days after Firefox creator Mozilla accused Microsoft of trying to prevent other browsers operating on ARM-based devices, potentially sowing the seeds of another costly antitrust battle in the US and in Europe.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years