Want a Windows 8 tablet now? No really, an honest-to-goodness Windows 8 tablet, available today vis-a-vis the miracle of eBay, and here’s the kicker—you don’t even have to be a developer!
Well, maybe you do. I have no idea what Microsoft’s terms and conditions were when it gave a bunch of Windows 8 tablets away to developers at last week’s BUILD conference. I can get behind that giveaway (speaking as someone who wasn’t present and didn’t get one) because this is terra nova and we’re all curious to know what these things can really do, whereas I was possibly the only person in the universe who called Microsoft’s completely unnecessary press giveaway of Xbox 360s at E3 a few years ago (I attended and received one) swag just shy of a bribe.
Why pay over $2,000 at auction for a glorified prerelease slate when you can just pull down the Windows 8 Developer Preview and put it on an existing one? I don’t know. Probably because plenty of people don’t realize that (you know, like the 14 who’ve already bid on what’s essentially a middle-of-the-road Samsung Series 7 tablet). Then again, it does have a 64GB solid state drive to go with its Intel Core i5 CPU, 4GB RAM, dock, Bluetooth keyboard, touch pen and yearlong 2GB per month AT&T data plan (with an unactivated SIM).
Or maybe it’s just Windows 8′s allure. The OS looks nothing like either iOS or Windows. It utilizes a new touch-driven interface, runs on ARM as well as Intel processors, connects to the so-called “cloud” and replaces Windows’ icons with a colorful quilt of shiftable squares and rectangles signifying apps, connections, miscellaneous content and so forth. It looks cool, maybe even cooler than iOS, and I mean visually and functionally.
But no Slashgear, you can’t judge a platform (or anything else, frankly) based on how foolish someone’s willing to be with their discretionary income. Still, thanks for the tipoff: bids on these guys are averaging over $2,000, and climbing, looks like.