Microsoft’s last appearance at the huge Consumer Electronics Show will reportedly include a preview of Windows 8 running on a Samsung tablet. Although Microsoft and its hardware partners have seeded developers with test versions of Windows 8, Ballmer will presumably show the latest build of the operating system, ahead of its expected release later this year, according to a report in the U.K.’s The Telegraph.
Manufacturing giant Samsung is certainly hedging its bets with Windows 8 as the company’s Galaxy Tab is one of the highest profile Android tablets on the market.
Windows 8 has received high marks for its innovative interface of tiles that has already been implemented in its line of Windows Phone 7 smartphones.
Analysts at Ovum said they expect Ballmer and Microsoft to give more details on Windows 8. “We will be looking for more insight into Windows 8 beyond the 2011 preview and specific information on release dates and form factors, including a hands-on with Samsung's Windows 8 tablet,” Ovum said in a research note.
Ballmer has showcased Windows tablets at the past two CES conferences including a prototype HP device ahead of the company’s $1.2 billion purchase of Palm that stymied the company’s plans to support Windows tablets more broadly. With the demise of the TouchPad, HP has returned more completely to the Windows fold, with tablets for both consumer and enterprise markets.
After keynoting the last 13 years Microsoft announced last month that it no longer planned to participate as a keynote or exhibitor at CES after this week for a number of reasons including the fact that the timing of the show was not in synch with Microsoft’s product release cycle.