Ina Fried

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Microsoft Schedules L.A. Event for Some Windows Tablet Talk

After months of being secretive about its work to bring Windows 8 to ARM-based tablets, Microsoft is about ready to raise the veil.

The company has scheduled an event on Monday in Los Angeles where it is expected to show devices running the software as well as highlight some of the kinds of programs and services that will run on the products, according to sources outside the company.

Microsoft is confirming the L.A. event but is not offering any details on what will be covered.

That Windows is coming to the same kinds of chips that power Android phones and tablets is not a surprise. Microsoft first announced its plans in this regard at the January 2011 Consumer Electronics Show.

Since then it has demonstrated Windows 8 running on ARM processors, and a few computer makers have shown the kind of hardware they plan to use. However, Microsoft has not allowed the public any hands-on time with those ARM-based machines.

By contrast, Redmond has released three public test versions of Windows 8 for Intel and AMD chips and said it expects to finalize the code in the coming weeks. As for Windows RT, as the version for ARM chips is known, Microsoft has said it expects some machines using the new software to debut around the same time as Windows 8 machines running on traditional PC processors.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik