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News Roundup: The fate of Windows 8 tablets

By the time ARM-based Windows 8 tablets arrive, will anyone care?

In this week's news summary, we take a look at the future of Windows 8 tablets and the related Windows-on-ARM partnership. Also: HP unveiled its first Windows Server-powered NAS box at HP Discover.

Windows-on-ARM needs a hand
Almost since the first news leaked about Windows 8, people have been speculating whether Microsoft's next-generation OS would run on ARM-based processors – speculation further validated by the company's touting of a touch-friendly, lightweight system made for tablets. But as DigiTimes reports, the reality of ARM-based Windows is still at least a year away, with no real adoption coming until 2014 or 2015. Tom's Hardware notes that Windows-on-ARM won't be a slam dunk when it arrives due largely to the lack of legacy application compatibility. And SlashGear suggests that Intel will soon be pushing out processors that will compete with ARM to power tablets.

Too late for Windows 8 tablets?
No matter what processor it runs on, a Windows 8 tablet may not succeed. According to a recent Forrester survey, interest in Windows-based tablets has tumbled in recent months. ZDnet's James Kendrick isn't surprised, because "consumers don't buy a tablet for the OS" – and that's all Microsoft really offers. There's plenty of skepticism about the research, though; TG Daily notes the unreliability of predictive surveys like this one. The VAR Guy says it's too early to dismiss the technology (Tim Anderson is one of many who offered similar reactions on Twitter)…but if interest is waning, he has some suggestions for how Microsoft can turn the tables. 

HP to offer lower-priced NAS box
At this week's HP Discover event in Vienna, the company showed a new network-attached storage (NAS) box, its first to be powered by Windows Storage Server 2008 R2. The X5000 G2 can store up to 32 TB in a 4.75-inch high, rack-mountable array, according to Computerworld. notes the box's advanced file management tools that will improve performance and automate data categorization; the native integration with Microsoft tools eliminates the need for additional hardware, leading to lower prices.

Microsoft reportedly interested in Yahoo acquisition
Yahoo has hit some tough times and is looking for someone to buy a 20% stake in the company. This latest round of rumors indicates that Yahoo isn't looking to sell the whole company. A potential buyer for the minority stake: Microsoft, according to DealBook at the New York Times. Preston Gralla at Computerworld says Microsoft should stay away. Gralla says the cash could be better spent on startups rather than the struggling giant.

Silverlight misses ship date, future of platform still in the dark
Those anticipating Silverlight 5 are going to have to wait a little bit longer. Microsoft missed shipping the RTW version of Silverlight by the end of November, writes Mary Jo Foley for ZDNet. Microsoft says it will have more news in the coming weeks about Silverlight 5. Also up in the air: What, exactly, is next for the platform? Foley writes it may be discontinued in favor of apps built with the new WinRT or with rich Web standards.

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