By Reuters Staff
Microsoft showed off a version of its next operating system at technology conferences in the US and Taipei, as some PC makers grumbled over restrictions on their involvement in the development of the system.
The world's largest software company is expected to launch the new system, code-named Windows 8 and highlighting touchscreen features optimised for tablet computers, in the next 18 months as it races to catch up with Apple.
But Microsoft has told chipmakers who want to use the system for tablets to work with only one manufacturer to speed up the delivery, Bloomberg and Dow Jones news reported, sparking worries among some PC vendors they will be left out.
In demonstrations at the D9 conference in Palos Verdes, California, and the Computex show in Taipei, Microsoft executives showed a starting page resembling Microsoft's latest phone software, with live 'tiles' manipulated by pressing and swiping the screen.
The demonstration shows Microsoft is making progress toward the new operating system, which it promises will run on a range of hardware devices from traditional PCs to laptops and tablets, using both touchscreen and mouse and keyboard commands.
The company said in Palos Verdes it was "not out of the game" in tablets - a view backed by some in the industry.
"The fact that it's a year or two years after the iPad doesn't really matter. There is already a lot of built-in infrastructure," Adrian Crisan, Sony's director of engineering for VAIO and Mobile of America, told reporters in Taipei today.
Full Story: ITPro