Windows 8: A first look at Microsoft's new operating system [Video]
Microsoft gave away a Windows 8 tablet to every paid attendee at its Build conference in Anaheim on Tuesday morning, beginning in earnest its push to sell developers on the new operating system.
The tablets aren't lightweight, in terms of heft (almost two pounds) or performance. Microsoft called the tablets Windows 8 Developer Preview. Built by Samsung, the tablet is a modified version of the Korean electronics maker's Series 7 tablet, which in that version runs Windows 7 with a touch-enabled skin over the top.
The Windows 8 Developer Preview tablet is packed with a 1.6GHz Intel Core i5 processor, an 11.6-inch screen with 1366 x 768 resolution, front and rear cameras (but no photo taking app as of yet), an HDMI port for connecting to extra monitors, a USB port, a microSD slot and a SIM-card slot.
Samsung and Microsoft also gave developers a charging dock with USB, HDMI and Ethernet ports, a Bluetooth keyboard (which looks a lot like an Apple keyboard) and a stylus pen that works with the prototype device. A mouse can be used with the Windows 8 tablet as well.
AT&T is supplying a year of 3G service for the tablets at no charge to Build attendees, with a cap of 2 gigabytes of data per month. The tablet also can use Wi-Fi connections.
But the part that matters most here isn't so much the specs of the preview device as it is the operating system.
Microsoft handed out loaner tablets to journalists such as myself Monday at a press-only Build presentation on Windows 8 (the tablets are due back Thursday). Check out the video below for a quick look at the Windows 8 Developer Preview tablet and Windows 8 in action.
-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles
Photo: A developer build of Microsoft Windows 8 running on a Samsung-built developer preview tablet. Credit: Armand Emamdjomeh/Los Angeles Times