Free Windows 8 Tablets at BUILD from Microsoft, Reportedly

By Marius Oiaga on August 26th, 2011 07:28 GMT

Microsoft will reportedly hand out free Windows 8 tablets / slates to BUILD participants, an event focused on the next major iteration of the Windows client.

The info comes from one of the people attending the Microsoft Tech Ed New Zealand show, Alan Burchill, a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional, who posted pictures of a next generation quad-core Windows slate that the company showcased at the event Down Under.

“What is very interesting is that device was a ‘Quad Core Windows Slate that will be give[n] out at an upcoming Microsoft Event’… Hmmm…” Burchill noted in a comment that was subsequently removed, according to Mary-Jo Foley. He has deleted the comment after it got picked up by various news outlets.

The Redmond company has not confirmed whether it plans to hand out free Windows 8 slates at BUILD or not, or if the quad-core table demoed at Microsoft Tech Ed New Zealand will also be showcased at the next month’s event.

This is no real surprise, especially considering that the software giant has yet to make public any details related to BUILD. However, word from another Microsoft Tech Ed New Zealand show participant is that the quad-core device was a Windows 7 slate, and that the company made no promises about BUILD.

Microsoft has a history of handing out freebies at BUILD’s predecessor event, the Professional Developers Conference, and the upcoming Windows 8-centric fest is bound not to be an exception to this rule.

Per the PDC tradition, paying BUILD participants should receive next generation a form factor loaded with the pre-release Windows 8 bits. Chances are that the next gen device will be a Windows 8 tablet, but with BUILD approximately two weeks away, attendees won’t have to wait all that long until they find out.

Any free Windows 8 devices handed out by the software giant will be most probably announced during the opening keynote address on September 13th, which will kick start the conference since all pre-sessions were canceled.

In addition to not confirming free prototypes for BUILD participants, Microsoft has also kept mum on whether it will provide the first taste of Windows 8 at the September conference via a pre-release Build of the operating system, either a pre-Beta or a Beta of the platform.
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