Steve Ballmer to tease Windows 8 at CES keynote

By Tom Warren, on 4th Jan 11 6:00 pm with 10 Comments

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is set to take to the stage tomorrow for the opening keynote at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

Ballmer will detail a number of new announcements related to Windows Phone, Xbox and Windows. The main announcement will be related to Windows running on ARM chips. According to sources familiar with Microsoft’s plans, the software giant is planning to show off a function of Windows 8 for the first time.

Microsoft originally demonstrated Windows multi-touch functionalities at the All Things Digital conference on May 27, 2008. The software maker only teased the touch functionality of Windows 7 and did not reveal the UI or further details until the 2008 Professional Developers Conference in late October, 2008. Microsoft is believed to be planning a similar strategy for Windows 8. Ballmer will show off limited Windows 8 functionality, believed to be related to Microsoft’s Slate plans, and a full Windows 8 unveil will come later at PDC 2011.

TechFlash reports that ARM chip manufacturers Nvidia, Qualcomm and Texas Instruments have all signed-up to produce processors for Windows 8 systems. Ballmer isn’t likely to refer directly to Windows 8 but will say “the next version of Windows”. WinRumors previously reported that Microsoft would not show off Windows 8. This remains unchanged as Microsoft will not show off the new dual UI of Windows 8.

Microsoft has promised a “major revamp” of Windows for slate applications, that will come in the next version, Windows 8. Microsoft is currently in the planning and preperation stage for Windows 8 and is compiling early milestone builds for product functionality.

Microsoft has been criticized for its slow response to Apple’s iPad device, introduced in April 2010. Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, previously said Windows 7 based Slates would be available “as soon as they’re ready” when questioned earlier in 2010. The iPad sold three million units in its first 80 days of release and is currently selling approximately 4.5 million units per quarter, Bernstein Research estimates.

Microsoft Chairman, Bill Gates, said earlier in 2010 that the company has a lot of different tablet projects it is pursuing. Microsoft canceled their internal Courier project shortly after the release of the iPad. The project was an innovative new tablet concept that had promised to combine a dual screen book design with finger and stylus input. The leaked promotional materials demonstrated various concepts that would have brought an unparalleled productivity tool to the market. Most media outlets and analysts felt the move to cancel the device was a mistake.

  • Andrew Stockdale

    I miss you, Courier :(

    • JC

      Missing What. a pipe dream? At Nasa, they called it “unobtamium”, the mythical element to solve a major issue, akin to Warp drive. I miss warp drive, it would cut my travel time from New York tp Munich.

  • Aethec

    Tom, are you sure about the “new dual UI of Windows 8″ ?
    Wasn’t that simply a rumor from a website needing attention?

  • Aaron Delgadillo

    Is it bad that I still watch the Courier videos. :-(

    • Grannyville7989

      Don’t worry, Aaron. We’ve still got each other.

  • Anonymous

    Oh wow, no wya dude, Windows8? Now thats what I am talking about!

    • JC

      There’s a great preview to Windows 8, it’s called MacOS X Lion (aqua=aero, widgets=gadgets, you get the idea)

  • tom

    Was the Courier anything other than a concept? If so, it was cancelling a concept, rather than a working, RTM device. Microsoft got hurt by the sidewipe ARM gave Intel in the low power, decent performance per watt ARM chips. Intel will catch up, but it’ll be 2012 before nearing parity, and ARM will be dual/quad cores by then. Is Ballmer going to face a situation of being the CEO that cried tablet?

  • Guillermo Faría
    MultiTouch para Canarias!!!, lo último en Publicidad Interactiva.

  • Anonymous

    You can’t cancel something that you can’t make. Courier was a concept that had not even gotten to a physical prototype. The OLPC2 concept is similar. Why doesn’t anyone mention the OLPC2?