With CES 2011 around the corner, Microsoft is grabbing quite a bit of attention given the expectations for an iPad competitor. Here is a round up of the rumors:
New version of Windows (for Tablets) Windows 8?
Traditional media outlets grabbed attention with news that Microsoft is planning a new version of Windows for tablets that will run on ARM chips as well. These rumors were taken to the next step with Business Insider claiming Windows 8 will make an appearance at CES 2011. My belief is that we will not see a new version of Windows and especially no Windows 8. What we are most likely to see is a new configuration of Windows Embedded Compact for tablets. This fits in well with the ARM rumors since Windows Compact is supported for the said chipset. Microsoft in 2010 at Computex talked about Windows Embedded Compact for tablets and it was expected to hit RTM in early 2011.
Verizon/Sprint Windows Phone 7 & WP7 SP1
There have been two rumors for Microsoft’s new phone platform. Microsoft is expected to push out the first update for the OS in January and it was expected that CES 2011 would be where Steve Ballmer might make make announcements regarding it. Ina Fried at All Things D, pointed out that the said update will not be a major upgrade and while I do expect Steve Ballmer talking about WP7, the update might not be announced at CES 2011.
Windows TV? Google TV and Apple TV Competitor
Yesterday, the blogosphere was abuzz with rumors that Microsoft will announce their competitor for the TV services. I take this with a pinch of salt since so far Microsoft has positioned the Xbox as your media extender for the living room. Microsoft in the UK has had a partnership with Sky for bringing TV content to the Xbox. The interesting part of the service is being able to sit with friends in a virtual room and together viewing TV.
Tom Warren from WinRumors pointed out that Microsoft has had Windows Embedded providing the features pointed out by Seattle Times. Here’s a video of Windows Embedded with Windows Media Center UI:
Microsoft also has Mediaroom in the US for TV. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see Windows Embedded for TV with Mediaroom.
Xbox Kinect Avatar
According to a leaked slide, Microsoft is expected to announce a new Xbox Kinect update Avatar Kinect. Users will be able to interact with each using Kinect and their Xbox LIVE avatars.