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.