August 30, 2011 — 11:45am ET | By Paul Mah
Update: A release date of 2011 for a Windows 8 tablet was originally cited. That is wrong. Tablets based on Windows 8 are expected in 2012.
Excitement is high over speculation that Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) will be giving out Windows 8-based quad-core tablets to paying attendees of its BUILD 2011 conference in September.
According to eWeek, the rumors took root when an attendee of Microsoft's recent TechEd conference in New Zealand took some photos of a quad-core Windows tablet in the hands of Microsoft's principal architect, Patrick Hevesi, then blogged about it.
The blogger, IT consultant Alan Burchill, wrote that the device was a quad-core Windows slate that will be given out at an upcoming Microsoft event, though the remark was later removed from his blog with no explanation, according to Mary-Jo Foley at ZDNet.
Whether Microsoft actually gives out tablet devices at its BUILD conference, and whether they will run on Windows 8, is hardly the main point though (Foley referred to another attendee who claimed that the tablet was in fact running Windows 7). What seems clear is that Microsoft's Windows-based tablet is close to completion.
Moreover, its hardware will be high-performing, given the presence of a cutting-edge quad-core processor.
So if you're looking for a tablet in 2012, it does look like you can count on a new offering from Microsoft.