Microsoft has already revealed that we won’t be seeing the Windows Phone OS heading to tablets anytime soon, mainly because in its view tablets aren’t mobile products, but PCs.
We’re not sure we agree with that, but at least the company has had the decency to keep its end of the bargain and show off a tablet prototype running the next generation of its PC-based OS, Windows 8.
Tablets have been a fairly significant hole in Microsoft’s software portfolio, with Windows 7 deeply limited in dealing with touchscreens and Windows Phone 7 focused purely at smartphones.
Windows 8 is supposed to redress that balance - though its actual launch is probably only coming next year. As for now, though, what we have been given is the first Windows 8 tablet concept device, giving us a good sense of what to expect when those Windows 8 tablets do touch down.
The most significant detail is the presence of the Metro UI those brave Windows Phone early adopters will know all about. The tile-based interface is seen as one of the best bits of WinPho, so it taking centre stage on Windows 8 too is no bad thing.
The concept device shown off at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in the States was kept as a mystery on the inside, so we’re not sure what sort of spec baseline MS is lining up. But with the focus on PC-like features we’d expect a pretty beefy collection of components to go with it.
Time, as always, will tell.