Is Windows 8 on Intel coming sooner rather than later?

Is Windows 8 coming as soon as this fall? One can't help but think that Intel is gung-ho about Windows 8 for a reason.

A Windows 8 demo at CES earlier this month. Take a guess which chip platform this was running on.
A Windows 8 demo at CES earlier this month. Take a guess which chip platform this was running on. Brooke Crothers

Listening to Intel's CEO Paul Otellini over the last couple of months, one can't help but wonder whether Windows 8 isn't coming sooner rather than later.

Sooner as in not next year (as in October?) Next year being a scenario pitched by some analysts .

And I do mean Windows 8 on the tried and true Intel and Advanced Micro Devices X86 platform--not ARM necessarily--as that's all Otellini cares about.

Otellini's chipperness started back in November when he made a very upbeat presentation about how Windows 8 will transform laptops into tablets--or what is now being referred to as ultrabook convertibles.

He maintained this enthusiasm on Thursday when he blurted out, in response to an analyst's query, that Windows 8 tablets are "being queued up" for production .

Let's be clear: Otellini isn't some analyst trying to read tea leaves. He's the hardware half of Wintel and might just know a little something about the real status of Windows 8.

And what about Windows 8 on ARM chips? After running around for five days at CES trying to ferret out live, public demonstrations of Windows 8 ARM tablets, I came away disappointed. Qualcomm--a close Microsoft partner whose "Snapdragon" ARM chips power Windows phones--made it crystal clear to me that they weren't demonstrating anything Windows 8 related at CES.

Nvidia was showing Windows 8 tablets but touching them was a no-no (unless you were bold enough to break the glass they were encased in). Texas Instruments offered the most revealing demo I've seen of Windows on ARM (WoA) that wasn't that revealing: it consisted of scrolling (for a whole 30 seconds) through the front-door content of a major news site.

And remember, back in September at the Build conference, Microsoft handed out Intel Core i5-powered Samsung tablets running a Windows 8 Developer Preview. So, that Intel-based Win 8 platform has been out there for some time already.

So, will it roll out in October on Intel-AMD only? With ARM coming later? Willing to make a guess?

About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.

 

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