Report: Five Windows 8 ARM devices for October launch

In January, unconfirmed reports from CES 2012 claimed that Microsoft was looking at an October 2012 time table to launch Windows 8. Now a new report on Bloomberg also states, via their own unnamed sources, that Microsoft hopes to finish Windows 8 development sometime this summer for an October launch date for PC and tablet devices.

The good news is that the report claims that both the regular x86 version of Windows 8 and the new ARM-based Windows 8 will be ready around the same time. However, the article also claims that only five Windows 8-based ARM products will be sold for the launch of the OS, compared to over 40 devices that will run on Intel's processors. The report did not give out any specifics on which companies will be selling Windows 8 ARM products.

The report quotes one of its unnamed sources as saying that Microsoft has "set rigorous quality-control standards" for products that will run the ARM version of Windows 8.

Bloomberg also reports that Microsoft will hold a special event in early April for its various hardware partners. The event will reportedly reveal more information about the specific timing of Windows 8's launch along with Microsoft's marketing plans.

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24 Comments

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I'm hoping that my HP Touchpad will receive ability to run Win 8, seeing that I will not be able to afford a new W8 compatible tablet @ launch.

MSFT has to let the market drive win8 to everybody using cappy devices. this is how android outsells apple. quality is nice but consumers always want cheap. allow OEMs to ship whatever cappy WOA tablet they wish. There will be a nokia table for the ones that wish to spend more.

cheap wins.

neonspark said,
MSFT has to let the market drive win8 to everybody using cappy devices. this is how android outsells apple. quality is nice but consumers always want cheap. allow OEMs to ship whatever cappy WOA tablet they wish. There will be a nokia table for the ones that wish to spend more.

cheap wins.

That's absolutely going to be part of it. A tablet is going to be a second device, so I don't think the majority of people are going to be willing to spend a premium on it. Ideally Microsoft and their partners really need to get the price points down to a competitive and realistic figure for most people to purchase.

devHead said,
If October is the General Release date for Windows 8, most likely it will be RTM by September.

Actually July or August.

So, how many major changes do you think MS is planning to do in order to fix all the Metro Desktop issues and concerns in the next 3-4 months?

As I said in previous posts, what you are playing with now is, for all intents and purposes, Windows 8.

jimmyfal said,
The ARM tabs need to be $500 or less, with MUCH more in the specs department to be successful at launch, IMHO.

And they can do this because they'll be using Cortex-A15 spec chips at 32nm and 28nm.
In comparison to the new iPad that is stuck at Cortex-A9 at 45nm until next year now.

jimmyfal said,
The ARM tabs need to be $500 or less, with MUCH more in the specs department to be successful at launch, IMHO.

i dont think it can make it to less than $500 anytime soon...

a1ien said,
And the resolution needs to be 1920x1200 or 2048x1536. Perhaps the latter can cost $600.
1920x1080 for the lose.

Apple might be the only company in the world who can make that happen and still turn a profit
The most expensive tablets today ($1000+) are still sitting at 1366x768 and 1280x800. Also, unless MS has been hiding this from us, Win8 doesnt handle resolution-independence very well, meaning some things would be tiny at iPad resolutions.

a1ien said,
And the resolution needs to be 1920x1200 or 2048x1536. Perhaps the latter can cost $600.

1920x1080 for the lose.


The hardest part about that isn't going to be the hardware, but rather the software. Microsoft optomized the dev tools for a minimum of 768, and since that's the lowest common demoninator...

Salutary7 said,

Apple might be the only company in the world who can make that happen and still turn a profit
The most expensive tablets today ($1000+) are still sitting at 1366x768 and 1280x800. Also, unless MS has been hiding this from us, Win8 doesnt handle resolution-independence very well, meaning some things would be tiny at iPad resolutions.

Why do you need that resolution? I just read the guy from DisplayMate Technologies who basically said the best reason for that insane resolution is for simple upscaling existing apps easily.

Microsoft have done some of the best graphics work in the business on the desktop side with their sub-pixel precision algorithms to make the best use of what you've got.
On the Metro side, of course it scales, that's the point of a xml/html UI frontend that is rendered as vector data when pumping it through the GPU.

That resolution is only good for draining batteries atm, imo.

dotf said,

Why do you need that resolution? I just read the guy from DisplayMate Technologies who basically said the best reason for that insane resolution is for simple upscaling existing apps easily.

Microsoft have done some of the best graphics work in the business on the desktop side with their sub-pixel precision algorithms to make the best use of what you've got.
On the Metro side, of course it scales, that's the point of a xml/html UI frontend that is rendered as vector data when pumping it through the GPU.

That resolution is only good for draining batteries atm, imo.

Why NOT have that resolution? We really need to start improving our screens, we've been at the same DPI for 10 or so years.

Salutary7 said,

Also, unless MS has been hiding this from us, Win8 doesnt handle resolution-independence very well, meaning some things would be tiny at iPad resolutions.

"Hidden" in plain view.

1) XAML is designed for resolution independence. If you hardcode sizes of UIElement objects, then you are doing it wrong. Grid, StackPanel, WrapPanel, and other elements are designed to allow UI elements to flow, grow, and fill the screen to the size of the screen. And if you are using graphics, you can create multiple size images to load depending on the screen resolution, or you can set a property in your code and make the graphics scale (up or down) to fit the size of the element you are trying to fill. Being that applications need to run on lower resolution iPad 1 & 2, along with the The New iPad and even (for universal apps) the different resolutions of the iPhone/iTouch, this is the same thing that is done on the different screen resolutions.

2) If you were to download the developer tools, you would see that there is built-in tools to allow you to test applications in the simulator and in the design tools with resolutions of 1366x768, 1920x1080, 2560x1440, and 1280x800, on a suggested 10.6" screen from dpis of 96 to 277 - which includes a resolution and a dpi greater than what is supported by the iPad 3. And, because of #1 above, you can let your app use smaller elements if you would like, or let the UI elements grow to keep the same relative dimensions, it is up to the developer to decide what is best for their application. All that is needed to test is a simple selection from a drop-down list and watch the changes in the UI.

jimmyfal said,
The ARM tabs need to be $500 or less, with MUCH more in the specs department to be successful at launch, IMHO.

I agree. Price is going to be a big factor.

CMG_90 said,
and may be one will actually stand out

5..... 5 tablets..... 5 windows 8 tablets.....

There will be x86 based tablets as well, using chips from Intel and AMD.

I did guess me hoping for a release before the end of july was a bit too hopeful (If it was released by then I'd get it free via MSDNAA - after that I graduate so will lose my access to it).

WelshBluebird said,
I did guess me hoping for a release before the end of july was a bit too hopeful (If it was released by then I'd get it free via MSDNAA - after that I graduate so will lose my access to it).

Took my uni over a year to revoke my MSDNAA access after I graduated. I had a TechNet account by then though so it was all good

WelshBluebird said,
I did guess me hoping for a release before the end of july was a bit too hopeful (If it was released by then I'd get it free via MSDNAA - after that I graduate so will lose my access to it).

Well, if they're aiming for an October retail release, July would be around when you can expect final RTM versions to be shipped. So at least you can play with the inevitable leaked copies this summer