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Windows 8 At CES?

David Gilbert


Windows 8 At CES?

Yesterday we got an invitation to attend a booth at CES in Vegas in January where we could check out the iGrill – the world's first Bluetooth and app-enabled device and first wireless cooking thermometer. Not exactly the cutting edge tech spectacular we were hoping for but news today of a possible first look at Windows 8 seems a lot more like it.

So when Steve Ballmer takes the stage to give his keynote address at CES on January 5 at 6.30pm we imagine there won’t be too many people checking out the app for making sure their steaks aren’t overdone. According to New York Times sources, Ballmer could be ready to unveil Windows 8 on a tablet and/or devices. This could be a huge step forward for Windows as they attempt to regain ground lost to Apple in the tablet market. One year ago, Ballmer announced the HP Slate at CES 2010 but since then Microsoft has been going backwards in the tablet battle.

While Microsoft has declined to comment on the stories, sources also claim that Ballmer will take to the stage with a slew of tablet devices including ones specifically from Samsung and Dell. The Samsung device, possibility called Gloria, is rumoured to have a slide-out keyboard and will run Windows 7 when in landscape mode with the keyboard extended. When in portrait mode with the keyboard hidden it will have a layered interface. A source said the device was “similar in size and shape to the Apple iPad, although it is not as thin. It also includes a unique and slick keyboard that slides out from below for easy typing.”

In another move away from the way Apple does business, Microsoft are rumoured to be encouraging developers to build apps that use HTML5. These apps would not be sold in any app store like Apple but would be hosted on the developers website which will then be highlighted in a search interface on the slate computers. We still don’t know if Ballmer will have any of these apps ready to show us in Vegas next month.

With less than a month before Ballmer takes to the stage, news of new Microsoft tablets and a possible Windows 8 premiere is the kind of news we are looking forward to covering – with all respect to Bluetooth grills and thermometers.

Hamish Campbell

December 14, 2010, 5:10 pm

Quite frankly, if they want to gain some ground they should consider Steve Balmer NOT getting on stage, and never doing so again.

Is there anyone else just so incredibly unlikeable?

Denis iii

December 14, 2010, 5:29 pm


I really like Steve Balmer :) He is a right character who is straight and tells it like it is. Snake oil salesman Steve Jobs on the other hand is truly unlikeable.

I'll gladly have a beer with Balmer and have a laugh whilst you sip overpriced coffee with Jobs and discuss your shiney shineys.


December 14, 2010, 7:39 pm

@haim: Really? Balmer comes across as a bit of an oaf at times, certainly not always the most professional guy and sometimes you wonder how he got to the top at MS. I'm sure a lot of MS shareholders don't like him being where he is, but as a person I'm sure they like him. He's sincere and larger than life, as @Denis says he's a lot more genuine than someone like Jobs.

CES is going to be crunch time for MS and more so Balmer though. He's got to lay out MS's vision for the year and how they can compete in the mobile & tablet markets. You feel if the WM7 updates that're promised don't bring decent sales for their mobile market and they cannot come up with a proper shipping tablet (either WM7 ported or Windows8) that competes with the iPad (and iPad2) and Google's Honeycomb (and Chrome OS) then his days are numbered.

I'd have expected WM7 ported to tablet form, if they already have Windows 8 at a stage it's ready to show at CES (and can ship by the end of the summer) together with some heavily skinned Windows 7 tablets that can ship now then maybe Balmer can finally make MS shares go in a positive direction.

Hamish Campbell

December 15, 2010, 1:44 pm

Well I'm certain he's a fine guy, in fact any of us would probably have a great ole evening sitting with Jobs or Balmer for a beer, coffee or dinner.

However, none of us ever will, so my impression will always be his interviews and product presentations, and in these I've found him very difficult to relate to positively. I'll admit though, I haven't seen huge amounts of him.

One thing I will have a little rant about is these tech presentations. I KNOW its about the tech, and the crowd are all geeks, but come on, its a presentation! It should be slick AND the presenter should be looking good (i.e. as good as possible). This means someone should give him/her a professional styling before they go on AND some one should choose their outfit. How in hell does MS let Balmer go on in a blue business shirt, who they hell wears those? Have I been transported back to the early 90's? Get the guy looking modern, smart, fashion concious in some way shape or form, just as how you want your products to be viewed.

p.s. I think Jobs is looking pretty tired in those turtlenecks too, he could do with a makeover.


December 15, 2010, 3:21 pm

I love the way this article on Windows 8 has turned into a discussion about turtlenecks.

Actually, no I don't!

Really though, who cares how these people look or if they like beer or coffee?

At the end of the day it's about the products the company put out, not if you like their staff based on some video you watched on YouTube. You don't know the guys so don't try and judge what they're like.

Or if you must do it, please join Heat magazine forum :)

Going back to the article. Are they actually going to demo Windows 8? Is it not just Windows 7 running on a tablet with some graphical tweaks to suit the platform?

I can't believe how far Microsoft let themselves get behind the market in mobile tech. I honestly thought they;d just given up on it until recent moves they've made. Whoever was in charge of those decisions should be 'reviewed'! It's a shame because I generally like MS products, and I'm sure if they put themselves fully into it they'd make a better mobile OS than Apple in all their single minded anti-flash Appleness.


December 16, 2010, 3:33 pm

There's a turtleneck discussion forum at Heat Magazine, I'm outta here....

Seriously, it's about the product. Put up some manicured scripted sales guy and it'll probably turn even more people off. Doesn't mean to say Balmer couldn't take a few presentation tips however. It is good that it's presented by the people who create these things. The high gloss sales pitch can come later in adverts on magazines, tv (oh yeah and online).

And let's go into unreality and imagine a coffee with Balmer or Jobs. I imagine a healthy discussion with Balmer and then an argument with Jobs on all his "this is the right way to do it, I won't listen to anyone else" point of view. Balmer seems open to change (look at how MS have turned themselves around in the last 2 years and fired a LOT of previous high flyers. You just don't see that at Apple for all their success. But yeah it's about the product...

I hope for a heavily retooled Windows 7 Touch that's READY TO SHIP straight after CES and a preview of Windows 8 that comes with guarantees that what you buy in January 2011 will comfortable run Windows 8 when it ships a year (or whatever) later.

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