For a touch-based interface it was awfully hard to get hold of. Microsoft's Windows 8 OS was shown on a handful of prototype ARM-based tablets at the Consumer Electronics Show this week, but almost no one was allowed to try it out.
Nvidia had three Windows 8 tablets in its booth but they were all behind glass. Texas Instruments showed a Windows 8 tablet in a meeting room off the show floor, but a reporter who asked to try it was told that wasn't permitted. Qualcomm, the third vendor of ARM-based chips working with Windows 8, wasn't showing it at all.
Representatives from all three companies said Microsoft has placed tight limits on how they can show Windows on ARM. It's apparently taking no chances that people might have a bad experience with the software before it's ready for release, which could harm its reputation.
Chris Flores, Microsoft director of communications for Windows, said development of the ARM version is on track and that Microsoft expects it to be released commercially at the same time as the x86 version But Microsoft wouldn't say if the Windows 8 beta due in late February will come out for both platforms.
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