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Microsoft Windows Embedded Compact 7 tablet prototype demonstrated

Microsoft has been demonstrating a new tablet at Computex 2010. The 8.9-inch concept device uses the Windows Embedded Compact 7 operating system -- a cut-down version of Windows 7

Microsoft has been demonstrating a new tablet at Computex 2010. The 8.9-inch concept device uses the Windows Embedded Compact 7 operating system -- a cut-down version of Windows 7, designed for tablets and other embedded devices.

According to Engadget, the device will feature multi-touch navigation in the browser, support for Flash 10.1, and will play HD movies on its 8.9-inch display thanks to Nvidia Tegra 2 hardware.

The most interesting aspect, in our humble opinion, is its slick-looking, finger-friendly, Silverlight user interface, which runs natively on the operating system -- not within a browser. It's vaguely reminiscent of the Zune menus, which is no bad thing. The home page gives users quick access to music, a browser, multimedia, and a snazzy social media page, which shows a timeline of messages and events from your friends.

Being a Windows-based OS, it's possible to dig a whole lot deeper should you wish to get your nerd on, but even then it appears to be a world away from the clunky, tiny-icon approach taken by full Windows 7 tablets.

Sadly, the concept machine isn't set to see the light of day any time soon -- it's designed solely to show manufacturers what's possible with Windows Embedded Concept 7. With a bit of luck the Sonys and Samsungs of this world have taken note and are already working on proper consumer models.