Microsoft (news, site) just gave the AllThingsDigital conference a massive boost by suggesting that WIndows 8 could get its first showing there. UPDATED: Now with first pics

Microsoft's Other Steve

Last week, we had Steve Ballmer doing the big deal with Skype. Now, Steven Sinofsky, Microsoft's head of Windows, has just been announced as appearing at next week's D9 conference in California. He will be talking about the future of Windows and is likely to pull out a Windows 8-powered tablet or similar device to show how the company is moving along.

He will be appearing alongside the likes of HP's Leo Apotheker, Nokia's Stephen Elop and Zynga's Andrew Mason. They will no doubt have some cool and expensive gadgets to show off, with HP making big noises about its own tablets. So, Steven's only real way to outshine them will be to show off the biggest gun in Microsoft's arsenal.

UPDATE: We'll have a full story on this later today, but for now, bask in the first images of the new OS that's more Windows Phone than it is Windows. Early details suggest there is only the one Windows for all devices, saving a lot of panic.



Windows 8 is very tablet friendly, but underneath are all the regular apps.

A host of Windows 8-powered tablets are currently being shown at a Microsoft Partner event at Computex, Taiwan. We'll have more on those too.


A closer look at the details available in each pane.

Splitting Windows 8

We've already heard rumors that the Windows 8 edition for ARM processors won't be backwards-compatible, so Sinofsky may want to use his speech to clarify exactly what is happening across the versions, while creating as much disruption as possible for rivals.

That would logically include showing off Windows-powered tablets with Windows 8's new fast hybrid boot capabilities and perhaps some of the new interface features. With the OS itself not due out until 2012, the more impact MIcrosoft can have now, the better chance it has of stopping customers from defecting to the plentiful rival options.