So, it was very amusing that I called the fact that Microsoft were going to have to give out tablets at BUILD way before the conference. I called it right here.

Now however, we just received a new rumor regarding the Beta testing strategy Microsoft is currently pursuing for Windows 8.

This is a RUMOR – We cannot validate the truth of the story.

So, I got a communication from a source (in Microsoft) who has been right before on this site.

He/She had some very interesting gossip regarding the deployment of the Windows 8 Beta.

This is the gist of what he/she had to say:

  • Microsoft have started thinking about the process of distributing the Beta.
  • The 5000 developer approach (obviously) won’t work. You need massive testing for an effective Beta.
  • Several options are being discussed regarding how to get the public to test the Metro Tablet interface.
  • The least popular option is (obviously) a regular beta release and consumers would have to figure out how to test the Tablet piece themselves.
  • The most popular option at this point is selling (at a steep discount) Windows 8 tablets with Beta software and (get this) allowing them to be (optionally) upgradeable upon final launch.
  • Windows 8 would be able to be upgraded via internet updates (that seems hard to believe)
  • The price for the hardware would be approx $250 to $300
  • Unclear what the price of the software would be when it was RTM’ed (obviously).
  • There are 4 partners that are being considered and – get this – Samsung was not a shoe-in.

Pretty nuts huh?

This is a RUMOR – We cannot validate the truth of the story.

I will say that this though, it does sound like it makes a lot of sense but as always, who the heck knows..

If true, this would be pretty brilliant because Microsoft would be killing 2 birds with one stone.

Millions of people “testing” who would become final consumers and they would be familiar with the software and advocates by launch time.

Oh the drama…

What do you all think?

About the Author

Onuora Amobi is the Founder and VP of Digital Marketing at Learn About The Web Inc. Onuora has more than a decade of information security, project management and management consulting experience. He has specialized in the management and deployment of large scale ERP client/server systems.

In addition to being a former Microsoft MVP and the founder and editor of, he is the CEO of a Pasadena based online marketing education startup - Learn About The Web Inc. ( and The Redmond Cloud (

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  1. Umm .. like holy cow dude.. where the heck do you get these tips from.

    Thanks for bringing back this site design .. the new one sucked.

  2. Brilliant idea. Hope they do it. I’d purchase one in a microsecond.

  3. well mate…. they should seriously consider Toshiba

  4. windows 8 is amazing im running it on my dell inspiron duo, works like a deeam

  5. I’ve been running the preview on a 3 year old Centrino Pro Thinkpad with a 2 year old Windows 7 install with 3 profiles. Yes.. I upgraded from Windows 7. It hasn’t blue smiley’d on me yet and getting my old Windows 7 apps took a little massaging but nothing annoying.

    This would be a great strategy however, if you have a bunch of tablets running beta code that start failing in the field, that would probably be the nail in the coffin for Windows 8. The microscope is already on Microsoft for previous SNAFUS…. XBOX 360 RROD, Windows Me (Meh as I like to refer to it), as well as Vista, and BSOD in other iterations.

    They’d better be damn sure it’s stable before doing this. Disclaimers won’t help either.

  6. Ok, how do I sign up for the tablet program??

  7. Try before you buy,would be great.Put a time on the beta and after a certain time it would not be any good,and if you like it you could buy the product.And as always no 2 PS,s are not the same and you would get a jump on the problems to be fixed.I would do the beta  on a TOS{term of  secrets} non-discloser.And Where did these people get windows 8 already ?

  8. I like it!

  9. Sure, give it away to some and not others, this is Microsoft’s style. They will probably give it away to China also and not  Americans.

  10. I think HP. Thats why I think they dropped out of the PC buissness, to get into the PT buisness (Personal Tablet). Well I hope thats what they do…

    • HP hasn’t dropped out of the PC business yet, and their new CEO and board of directors is reconsidering the decision to do so. They have dropped out the tablet business, however, or will after the final (promised) manufacturing run of the TouchPad.

  11. Very agressive and creative concept.  I would jump in to participate myself.  The price point mentioned sounds attractive enough to compensate for the time and effort.

  12. It would be a good idea as far as marketing a Windows 8 based tablet goes, but I think it would be way too expensive, and the vendors of future Windows 8 tablets would definitely be against it. Microsoft would be stealing their markets. Plus it would do nothing for getting beta testers for Windows 8 on the desktop. I think a promise of free (or very low priced) Windows 8 upgrades when the final retail versions are released, would be far more beneficial for Microsoft.

  13. With everything moving so fast, Tablet is the antidote to speed and ease …

    You are moving in the right direction!

    Let me know when it is official. Need to test it out!

  14. How do I get on the list of testers?  What Tablets are they going to be using?  I hope they have some valuable ports on them  Toshiba looks to be the best so far. Waiting for the Amazon release this week to se what they have.

  15. Julius I’m like you. I pit Windows 7 on a Everex laptop,,the company when out of business.. so I tested Win 7 install. Had np problem at all. It found the drivers and it stays up to date.
      Now the tablets are great but if hey cost $300 what will the the finally price be,,,they best make this OS great,like you said the eyes are uopn them.  But if I could I’ll get one,,,lol
                                                                                                                              J Wallace

  16. I recently purchased an Acer Iconia W500 from Amazon. It came with Win 7 Home Premium. While I was able to customize it a bit (making scroll button bigger; Chrome extension for Touch etc) I decided to reformat and install the Windows 8 Developer Preview. I think I made the right decision! There are bugs here and there and I can share them but on the whole the experience is already better. Way to go, Microsoft!

  17. The only way I could see this working (i.e. not backfiring because of the prevalence of bugs that irritate users) is by making it available for purchase as an optional OS (not the default on any models) and no advertising. This way, all the techies will know how to get it, but everyone else will be oblivious to its existence and can’t accidentally get one.

  18. I would be all over this! Right now, it’s just not compelling to develop without a fully touch-enabled device. I found that to be true with Windows Phone 7. An emulator w/o touch or features like an accelerometer was not enough.

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