Windows 8 Tablet To Be Quad-Core: Rumor

Dennis Faas's picture

There are reports that Microsoft is about to hand out an ultra-portable computer running Windows 8 and containing a quad-core processor. If true, it could serve as a very effective way of promoting the new system on portable devices.

The rumors center on BUILD, a Microsoft event that takes place in California in September designed to help both hardware and software developers work better with Windows. The event also serves as a source of feedback for Microsoft about how it could improve the operating system (OS), including those still in development.

This year's event is going to be built around Windows 8, which appears to be around 12 months from its public release, meaning this is among the last chances to make major design changes. (Source:

According to the reports, Microsoft has just demonstrated some new devices at a conference in New Zealand and plans to make them available to delegates at BUILD. The one that's attracting most attention is a slate device, another term for the ultra-thin touchscreen tablet made popular by Apple's iPad. (Source:

Quad-Core: Four Times the Processor Power

What makes the demonstration touchscreen model so important is that it has a quad-core processor.

The processor -- also known as the CPU, or central processing unit -- is set up in a way that works as if there were four separate processors. This allows the computer to carry out four activities simultaneously without any delay. In comparison, most desktop PCs today come with quad-core processors.

A quad-core tablet means that the device will be able to work on very intensive activities, such as video editing, number crunching, while still being able to carry out other tasks. In short, a quad-core processor allows for great flexibility, as more than one core can be dedicated to a particular task while still leaving spare capacity.

Windows 8 Slate Could Be Business Tool

An effective quad-core processor would overcome one of the current major limitations of a slate or tablet device: that it has comparatively limited memory and processing power, meaning it's generally restricted to "lighter" activities, such as surfing the web.

A quad-core tablet would make it more likely the devices could be used as business tools with an emphasis on creating rather than consuming content.

It could also have benefits for consumers: theoretically, it would make it easier to put media files on the device and have them played back in real time, rather than the user having to go through a lengthy conversion process on a PC before transferring the file back onto the tablet for review.

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