Another day, another tablet? Not quite. This new tablet from Samsung has been making the rounds at big tech sites like Engadget and Gizmodo today. What’s striking about this one is what it’s running. The new slate currently hosts a developer build of Windows 8. The OS and the hardware are NOT a final product. In fact, Gizmodo mentions that right now the slate houses an X86 processor, and not the expected ARM processor it should have at release. Even worse, when the tablet actually does ship it will still be running on Windows 7, instead of the touch-optimized Windows 8. Microsoft even reiterated multiple times to these early reviewers that this tablet is not the finished hardware.
What it does give us, though, is a first look at Windows 8. While it’s still incomplete, what we can see looks pretty promising.
Like WP7, Windows 8 will feature live tiles. Both Engadget and Gizmodo reviewers seem to agree that the new UI is awesome, and the touch-responsiveness is “fantastic”.
It is, in fact, the most usable gesture-based interface on the market. It goes beyond what Apple has done by quite a bit. The entire operating system is navigable in a way that is both completely new, and yet familiar within a few minutes of use. -Gizmodo
Swiping from the left edge scrolls through apps, and as you swipe other running apps pop in and maximize to fill the screen space. Swiping from the right brings up a “charms” menu like a homebar.
The OS itself has been completely redesigned, which is great to hear after Windows Vista and 7. Everything is run through “Metro apps”, which are the dominant interface. Metro apps seem to be like live tiles, with big white lettering and pictures.
There’s not a lot of information on the depth of the system at the moment, but what is out seems promising. We’ll be looking forward to seeing more in the coming months.