Windows 8 Foretaste Just Around the Corner at CES 2011

The first public preview of Windows 7’s successor is just around the corner, as Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer will take the stage for the opening keynote of the 2011 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas today.

Various sources have already claimed that the Redmond company will share the first preview of Windows 8 (Windows vNext) with the public at CES 2011.

At the same time, reports indicated that the software giant will announce that it’s finally ready to embrace ARM processors in addition to Intel and AMD CPUs with the fully-fledged Windows client, and not with just the embedded and componentized versions of the platform.

“Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will kick off the 2011 International CES in Las Vegas with an opening keynote address at the preshow on Jan. 5, 2011. This will be Ballmer’s third opening keynote address at CES, the world’s largest consumer technology trade show,” Microsoft revealed.

It now appears that the two announcements are connected, according to TechFlash. Ballmer will reportedly demonstrate Windows 8 on ARM chips, but users should not expect anything more than a glimpse of the operating system and the future support for the new CPUs.

Tailoring Windows to ARM processors is indicative of plans to increase the presence of the operating system in the space currently dominated by Apple.

ARM opens new doors for the software giant, making it possible for the full Windows client to run on a variety of new form factors including mobile devices and Tablet PCs/slates.

Of course, the Redmond company has already tapped long-time hardware partners including Nvidia, Qualcomm and Texas Instruments in order to have them produce ARM chips for future Windows 8 systems.

While Windows 8 is slated to make an appearance at CES 2011, users should not expect a full demo of the operating system, which according to some reports has barely hit, or is about to hit Milestone 2.

Reports indicate that Microsoft will only demo Windows 8 ARM support, but not much of anything else, certainly not features, additional capabilities, the user interface, etc.

Windows 8 is not expected to drop until the second half of 2012 at the earliest. Some sources claim that following M3, which is planned for H1 2011, the company will deliver the first Beta of the operating system later this year, with all indications pointing to PDC 2011 at this point in time.

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