Microsoft surprised many with yesterday's tablet OS announcement at Computex. As previously noted, the new platform, Windows Embedded Compact 7, will provide a "compartmentalized version of Windows 7 that can be embedded at the hardware level." It will provide multitouch capabilities, as well as a full desktop browser experience. The new OS will also have full support for Silverlight and Flash 10.1.
The yet to be shown off tablet OS has finally been given some face time and Engadget has gone hands on with Microsoft's latest venture into the world of tablet computing. In the form demoed, an application is shown on top of the OS that looks very similar to Windows Phone 7 and is shown with a social networking focused interface. The demo unit is a NVIDIA Tegra 2 powered slate with an 8.9" screen. Apparently, the user interface was just an example of the kind of interfaces that can be built over Microsoft's framework, but is not what the actual UI will, or should, necessarily look like.
According to what Microsoft has explained about the WEC7 platform, hardware manufacturers will be tasked with bringing this new OS to market, as well as developing the actual interface that it will run. Microsoft only seems to be supplying the underlying builds that will go out to manufacturers. You can check out the the Public Community Technology Preview over at Microsoft's website.