Microsoft Shows off Windows 8 on Tablets at BUILD

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Though Microsoft BUILD is a conference for developers working on Windows 8 apps and programs, the Redmond-based tech giant still showed off multiple tablets running the new operating system during Windows president Steven Sinofsky’s keynote address.

Most of the systems’ details were not revealed other than they ran a variety of chips, including ARM-based units from TI, Qualcomm and NVIDA (the Tegra 3, according to Sinofsky), and an Intel system. One device featured Samsung branding, which Michael Angiulo, CVP of Windows Planning and Ecosystem called the Samsung Windows Developer Preview PC. 

Specs for the device include a second-generation 1.6GHz Intel Core I5 processer, which contradicts previous rumors Microsoft would be passing out an ARM tablet, 11.6-inch 1366 x 768 display, and a dual digitizer with pen support. The tablet runs the Windows 8 developer preview, and also includes 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, 4GB of DDR3, 64GB SSD, AT&T 3G, and USB 2.0, microSD, HDMI inputs. The more than 5,000 BUILD conference attendees were each given a device along with a year of 2GB/month AT&T 3G. Also included was a dock that sports USB, Ethernet, and HDMI ports. 

Microsoft reps constantly stressed during the presentation that apps written for Windows 8 will work across all Windows 8 devices, and that Windows 8 was designed for touch navigation, though it will work with the traditional keyboard and mouse. Sinofsky went further, claiming that everything that runs on Windows 7, runs on Windows 8. He did not specifically say that Windows 7 apps will run on ARM devices. Previous rumors suggested that ARM-based system would not support legacy applications.

Sinofsky and Angiulo both reiterate a point previously made by Microsoft that the Windows 8 that runs on desktops and notebooks will be the same that runs on tablets. To that end, apps will support a handful of screen display sizes, ranging from 1024 x 600 to 1366 x 768 and greater. Larger screens support unique display features, including side-by-side apps.

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