According to insider sources, the first wave of Intel-based Windows 8 tablets are expected to hit store shelves this November. According to one source who reported to CNET on the subject, “The schedule is tight. Looking at what windows is trying to achieve not only with a new OS, but a new OS that needs to run four to five architectures — three ARM, Intel, and AMD.”
One thing that the source mentioned that is very interesting is that we should expect more than just Windows 8 tablets. According to the source, over 50% of the 12+ designs will be hybrids, or convertible tablets. These designs will combine aspects of your more traditional laptops, like a physical keyboard, with other features of tablets, like touchscreens.
What is also interesting to hear is that all of these new devices will come with Intel’s new “Clover Trail” Atom chip. Clover Trail is the first dual-core Atom design from Intel that is based on the company’s 32-nanometer process technology. There is a single-core version of this chip that is going to appear in future smartphones from Lenovo, Orange, Motorola and others.
Windows 8 will be powered by Intel chips, as well as Advanced Micro Devices chips, and will also be able to run older applications, which will be known as “legacy” applications. Windows RT, which is a separate release from Microsoft, will be coming to devices powered by ARM chip suppliers like Nvidia, Qualcomm and Texas Instruments, though it won’t run older Windows applications.
CNET’s source also added that Intel has a chip known as “Bay Trail” that it is currently working on. Bay Trail is supposedly the company’s future 22-nanometer follow-up chip to Clover Trail. “It is a gigantic performer, with similar battery life to Clover Trail,” the source said. “It will also have a lot of security features built in and Infineron [3G/4G] silicon inside.”
If this report is true and Windows 8 tablets will be hitting store shelves in November then you can bet your bottom dollar that Windows 8 will be hitting then as well, if not sooner. I’m pretty excited for Windows 8. While I love Windows 7 and all the improvements it made over Windows Vista, I’m interested to see what Microsoft has in store for the future.
Source: CNET – Intel Windows 8 tablets to hit retail stores in November