This year will mark the debut of Windows 8, the very first Windows version that Microsoft designed to fit the needs of tablet PC users.
Windows 8 is due sometime in mid-2012 with support for both mobile devices and traditional PCs, greatly expanding the reach of Microsoft’s client. It will run both on ARM and Intel architectures.
Previously, some suggested that the first ARM tablet PCs to actually take advantage of platform’s capabilities would arrive on shelves only next year, and that the OS would take a hit from that.
However, it appears that we might be able to see the first Intel-based devices launched in the second half of the ongoing year and that they will come from a number of manufacturers.
A recent report on DigiTimes suggests that Windows 8 tablet PCs from Acer and Lenovo will arrive in the third quarter of 2012. The news site also claims that they will feature Intel's Clover Trail platform inside.
Last year, Samsung showcased a Windows 8 tablet PC packing an Intel chip. The device might hit shelves in 2012 as well.
The inclusion of Intel chips inside these devices would make them a great option for the enterprise segment. They will offer support for legacy applications that companies use internally.
Intel’s chips are said to be less power efficient that ARM products that are currently found inside tablet PCs around the world, but the support for existing applications that they will offer could offset that.
Windows 8 on ARM architecture will require the building of new applications to replace existing Windows software. Thus, tablets packing ARM chips and Microsoft’s OS might not prove as successful.
Intel has yet to announce specific details on the availability of Clover Trail. However, CNet suggests that it will become available at the same time as Windows 8. Moreover, the chip maker is expected to demo the platform at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) later this month.
Windows 8 Developer Preview Build 8102 M3 is available for download from Softpedia via this link.