While the tabletsphere eagerly awaits Windows 8 for ARM-based tablets, a new report claims the company is leaning towards cutting the Desktop from that particular version of the operating system, leaving only the METRO user interface.
While Microsoft did not officially confirm the report, the company did release Developer Preview Samsung tablets to attendees at its BUILD conference that included the Desktop UI, though it was running an Intel x86 chip. If Microsoft does decide to drop the Desktop UI for ARM tablets, devices with chips from NVIDA, Qualcomm, and others typically found in mobile tablets will only have the METRO interface, while x86 tablets would feature both user interfaces.
This news comes from Microsoft insider Paul Thurrott, who described his information as “generic” in which he assumed it was about Microsoft’s ARM tablet strategy. If such speculation holds true, ARM-based Windows tablets would be direct competitors with consumer tablets like the iPad, while x86-based Windows 8 tablets would be more directed towards business users.
In related news, fellow insider sources at Microsoft have reported that the beta version of Windows 8 will be available to the public in either late January or late February. Reportedly, Microsoft is expected to demonstrate a near-final build of the beta software at CES 2012, which kicks off Jan. 9.