I know that you guys don’t really want to sit through an hour or painful music, hyperbole, and Ballmer, so I’ve taken the highlights from Microsoft’s big CES moment, and put them into easily-digestible blog form. Ain’t I sweet?
Mike Angiulo, Corporate VP of the Windows team, showed off some of the new form-factors that Windows PCs will soon be available in, including the crazy-cool dual-touchscreen Acer Iconica laptop. Instead of a keyboard down below, you’ve got a second display that is touch sensitive. A neat feature of which is that if you hit the touchscreen with all ten of your fingers at once, it immediately opens the on-screen keyboard.
Also shown off was the upcoming Samsung PC7 sliding series laptop (as seen in the image above), which looks a bit like a giant Hiptop. It runs a fanless Oaktrail processor, with a trio of Micro- connectors, including MicroSD, Micro-HDMI, and Micro-USB. I think it has a good chance of winning a few fans in the convertible tablet/netbook crowd, and I love that sliding movement.
Mike then showed off a tablet from Acer, which, as well as finger input, includes a capacitive pen for use with Microsoft’s Ink. It can tell the difference between the pen and your palm, so it wont register palm touches when you’re writing with the pen. It also has all four elements of the display (touch input, pen input, display, and glass) bonded together to minimise light wastage, creating a huge viewing angle and good brightness. Also, because of the lack of air between the layers, the display only needs 20% of the lighting power for any given brightness, compared to other touchscreens.
Finally, Mike also recounted the news that Windows 8 will be coming to System-on-chips (SoC) based on both x86 and Arm. He then showed off an early build of Windows 8 (with a Windows 7 interface) running natively on Intel, Qualcomm Snapdragon, and Texas Instruments OMAP SoCs as big as a matchbox.
Check out the motherboard that the Intel SoC runs on:
Tiny technology FTW!
He demoed a full-working version of Windows on the x86-based Intel SoC, and demoed a recompiled Arm version of Word printing on an Epson Printer (using recompiled drivers, of course), a recompiled version of Powerpoint with hardware acceleration, the hardware acceleration present in IE9, and, finally showed of Full-HD Video running on an NVIDIA Tegra chip.
These were all early builds of Windows, so there wasn’t a great deal to show off, but the promise of tiny, full-featured Windows PCs is exciting enough for me.
And that’s the lot! But don’t take my word for it, you can watch the whole event here.