Microsoft revealed a 'quad-core Windows slate' during the Tech Ed New Zealand conference held in late August. While its origins were unknown at that time, many speculated that the slim tablet would most likely carry the NVIDIA Kal-El APU, otherwise known as Tegra 3. Despite its quad-core potential, Tegra 3's compact framework makes it highly suitable for tablets where svelte form factors are prized.
More recently, the same reference model has been confirmed to be a Samsung tablet, powered by Microsoft's upcoming Windows 8 operating system tailored for the touch interface. This alliance between Samsung and Microsoft also signals a new business direction for the Korean CE manufacturer, whose current tablets revolves mainly around the Android OS developed by Google. Windows 7 is currently found on a handful of tablets, such as the ASUS Eee Slate. However, Windows 7 wasn't built for touch-based controls, and most of the Intel-flavored systems are also known to sport bulky and heavy profiles.
Samsung's official decision to embrace Windows 8 is expected to be announced at Microsoft's developers conference (BUILD) in California on September 13.
"Samsung at least has to have a double bet rather than relying 100% on Android," said Chang Sea-jin, a business professor at the National University of Singapore and author of a book on Samsung. "That will give them a bargaining position with Google and expose them to a broader group of customers."