A Microsoft source has reportedly leaked that the company could be ready to show off its Windows 8 tablet interface as soon as June.
Microsoft may show off an interface for its Windows 8 tablet operating
system as early as June, according to a report in Business Insider
citing a source at Microsoft.
The source added, according to the site's Feb. 28 report, that "Microsoft
is taking a more Apple-like approach to interface design this time around, and
will also be using concepts from the 'Metro' interface developed for Windows
The June timeframe marks the end Microsoft's 2011 fiscal year, and-if it
arrives early-the announcement could coincide with the Computex Taipei
trade show, which takes place May 31 through June 4.
The prediction also isn't far off the Microsoft road map-also shared by an
unnamed source-that ZDNet's Mary-Jo Foley
showed off earlier this month. The map
shows coding for Microsoft's Milestone 3 (M3) to begin Feb. 28, which could
give it a completion date toward the end of July.
"Factor in a month or so for any kind of private Community Technology
Preview (CTP) testing, and a beta around the time of this year's Professional
Developers Conference-which I'm still hearing is slated for September 2011-looks
downright doable," wrote Foley.
In the face of Apple's wildly successful iPad, and the hundreds of competing
products that have sprung up around it, Microsoft is surely anxious to join a
market that competitors Samsung, Hewlett-Packard, Research In Motion and
Motorola, among others, are beating it to. While by all accounts the tablet
market is headed skyward, a Feb. 16 report from financial services firm Morgan
Stanley suggested that it is nonetheless being underestimated and that unit
shipments will reach 100 million in 2012, up from 2010's 16 million units.
By contrast, research firm IDC, in a Jan.
18 report, forecast shipments to reach 44.6 million in 2011 and climb to 70.8
million in 2012.
Again citing a source at Microsoft, Business Insider reported Feb. 18 that
Microsoft, well aware that it's missing the tablet boom, has "around 1,000
engineers working on making Windows run smoothly on ARM
chip designs. And it is in fact taking the tablet market very seriously."
Microsoft also has a new hardware partner in Nokia
. On Feb. 11, at a joint
press conference in London, the
pair announced their intentions to create a "new global mobile ecosystem"
and to closely collaborate on a shared road map and the "future evolution
of mobile products."
Nokia explained that Microsoft's Windows Phone platform will be its new
priority, ahead of MeeGo, which it was developing with Intel, and its own
Symbian OS. And as part of the new partnership, Nokia said, it will contribute
its hardware expertise toward helping to bring the Microsoft OS to a greater
variety of price points, market segments and markets worldwide.
"Nokia and Microsoft plan to work together to integrate key assets and
create completely new service offerings, while extending established products
and services to new markets," Microsoft said in a statement at the time.