The first public glimpse at the next version of Microsoft's Windows could happen as soon as next month at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Thus far Microsoft has remained tight-lipped about Windows 8, though there have been leaked documents, job postings, PowerPoint presentations, and nebulous release dates written in Dutch, that have helped paint a clearer picture of its possible launch timeline and planned feature set.
Along with what could be a live demonstration of the yet-to-be-announced operating system, The Times says Microsoft also intends to unveil a Web app platform. This would offer HTML5-centric Web apps in a similar fashion to Google's efforts with its Chrome Web Store; however, The Times says Microsoft's intentions are to make it fully distributed. Such a feature would seemingly go against the leaked slides that pointed toward Microsoft building a centralized software marketplace into Windows itself.
The Times also goes into some detail about Microsoft's tablet unveilings, which are said to include a Samsung-made, Windows 7 slate. Unlike most in that class, this one will include a slide-out keyboard (akin to a smartphone), and is said to be "similar in size and shape to the Apple iPad," albeit a bit thicker.
Microsoft's CES keynote last January included just a handful of tablets, including one from Hewlett-Packard, which later became the Slate 500. An analyst report from Goldman Sachs posted over the weekend said the company is currently in danger of losing some of its top-line revenue next year, due in part to its approach to mobile devices--both phones and tablet PCs. We'll certainly get a clearer picture of what 2011 holds in store for both of those devices come next month.