Microsoft Showing Windows 8 Tablet's Progress at ConferenceAs Sony and Amazon become the latest brands to enter the Android tablet market, Microsoft will give us a quick peek at its own offerings, but don't expect to get hold of one anytime soon.

MS Tablets Take Their Time

Earlier this year, Microsoft gave us a very early peek at its computing future in a Windows 8-powered tablet. Since then, we've seen the Windows 8 blog arrive, but that, so far, has been concerned with the usual desktop interface trials and tweaks.

However, Microsoft knows it has to keep tantalizing the market, so we get another look at the work in progress in its tablet experiment next week, at the BUILD conference taking place in Anaheim on September 13-16. Word is its likely to be a Samsung device on show, suggesting the maker is leaning (slightly) away from Android.

Microsoft developers there will be demanding to know, as many others are demanding, whether Windows Phone 7 apps will run on the Windows 8 desktop, with the growing calls for a unified system. They will also want to see if Microsoft is using the touch or sensor technology in any way that gives them a competitive advantage over rivals.

As an example of progress, how about this, a cold boot in eight second flat.

Android, Amazon, Apple Await

With up to a year until these Windows tablets hit the market, Apple and Android players have it pretty much to themselves. HP has pulled out in ignominious fashion, and Sony is next up with the launch of its S tablet and P clamshell model.

Sony has the style, but will it get the sales?
Sony has the style, but will it get the sales?

These stylish devices might capture some market share, but does the brand name really matter unless it happens to be an Apple? Amazon is the next key launch in the tablet market with a predicted less-expensive Android that will be subsidized by links to the Amazon music, video and other stores.

With its massive consumer awareness, great Kindle sales and no need to sell on technology, it perhaps is the biggest threat to Apple.