Microsoft to launch Windows 8 tablets at CES 2011?

The NYT credits an unnamed source for the leak, which suggests that Microsoft’s keynote will be enlivened by the arrival of the next generation of Windows, as well as Samsung and Dell tablets.

The Samsung device is described by another source as “similar in size and shape to the Apple iPad, although it is not as thin.

“It also includes a unique and slick keyboard that slides out from below for easy typing.”

Whispers

There have been widespread whispers that Microsoft was going to show off something more suited to slate or tablet PCs than Windows 7, and that could, apparently, be Windows 8.

Windows 7, although touch enabled, has been criticised for not bringing a truly usable UI for touchscreens, and it is something that Microsoft was always likely to try to fix sooner rather than later.

Rivals Apple have enjoyed huge success with the iPad, running iOS, and Google’s Android is going to feature on a slew of tablets in the coming months.

It remains to be seen if the OS that Microsoft shows off (should the rumour be true) is actually Windows 8 or an adapted tablet-friendly version of Windows 7 or Windows Embedded.

But the talk that Samsung and Dell tablets will be shown off looks highly probably, and that they will be running a new OS makes perfect sense.

All in all, CES 2011 is looking likely to be an exciting event to kick off the year.

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