Microsoft prepares to debut Windows 8 on a tablet, incorporating a new interface that makes use of Nvidia’s Tegra chip. The software manufacturer seems poised to exert a greater amount of control over the hardware that runs its newest operating system, ensuring a more uniform Windows experience but drawing complaints from current manufacturers.
One possible reason that Microsoft is debuting Windows 8 on a tablet is to show that the operating system can play a major part in creating competition for the iPad. Windows tablets in the past have been problematic at best, and Android-based tablets don’t yet have enough market penetration to serve as serious competition for Apple. If the Windows 8 debut shows that the OS can provide a stable and easy-to-use tablet experience, then manufacturers may have a reason to give serious consideration to developing dedicated Windows 8 products.
Not all developers are happy about the level of control that Microsoft is taking regarding Windows 8 devices, however. Bloomberg reports that Acer Chairman and CEO J.T. Wang is complaining that Microsoft has placed “troublesome” restrictions on processor manufacturers to have control of the entire process of creating tablets to run the OS. This statement has led to speculation that Microsoft is trying to enhance production and the general stability of the devices, removing the variables that can exist across different hardware setups, and allowing the operating system to be designed for a limited range of hardware specs.
The Windows 8 debut isn’t just about showing off the future of Windows tablets, of course; Microsoft also plans to show off the new touchscreen interface that will be available on both tablets and the PC version of the new Windows operating system. Though Microsoft hasn’t revealed how the PC version of the operating system will differ from tablet versions running on ARM processors with Tegra chips installed, a common interface design should play a large role in connecting the PC and tablet versions of the OS.
Microsoft is expected to make the official Windows 8 debut on June 1st during the “All Things D” D9 conference, mirroring the revealing of the Windows 7 user interface at the event in 2008.