First Windows 8 Touch Screen Device Confirmed

Dennis Faas's picture

Samsung has confirmed it will sell touch-screen devices running Windows 8, beginning in the second half of 2012. For Microsoft, this is a positive sign its efforts to adapt the new operating system to ultra-portable devices will pay off.

Samsung's sales and marketing chief says the new touch screen device will likely be a modified form of the company's existing Series 7 computer, a touch-screen "slate" (a name sometimes used for Windows-based devices known elsewhere as "tablets") that comes with a separate wireless keyboard. (Source:

Windows Slate: 'For Professionals'

The Series 7, which already runs Windows 7, is marketed as a slim-line computer for professionals. It's portable, like the iPad, but also features work-related applications, such as a document editor.

Samsung also announced plans to offer an upgrade to Windows 8 for its current Series 7 customers. The new operating system was already shown to work on the Samsung "slate," when Microsoft handed them out, running Windows 8, at a developer conference in September. That also turned out to be the public's first chance to see the new OS in action.

Windows 8 Adds Adaptability

A public commitment of this nature from a major manufacturer is widely seen as great news for Microsoft, which is hoping to make solid inroads into the slate/tablet market after previous attempts fell a little flat.

To facilitate this marketing strategy, Microsoft has made sure that Windows 8 will run equally well on both traditional computers and touch-screen set-ups.

One key difference, however, is Windows 8 replaces the traditional "desktop and start button" with a full-screen of large icons that responds to touch-screen inputs much the same way as today's smartphone home screens.

Slate to Run ARM Processor or Intel Processor

Samsung hasn't confirmed whether the new device will be based on the ARM processor or the Intel processor currently used in the Series 7 computer.

ARM processors now dominate the smartphone market, primarily because they use less power, significantly extending battery life.

The extra energy saved by using an ARM processor could (for example) help Microsoft support a new generation of Windows devices that can run all day without needing to be recharged. (Source:

Samsung's comments may be the most official confirmation yet that Microsoft will release Windows 8 late next year. Given the pattern of public unveilings and beta edition releases in recent months, that timeframe is becoming increasingly certain.

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