NVIDIA Kal-El reference tablet hands-on

As if showing up in two of the first four reference devices for Windows on ARM wasn't enough of an achievement for NVIDIA's quad-core Kal-El superchip, it decided to visit us in person here at Computex to demonstrate its splendid graphical prowess. Running Android 3.1 on a 10-inch, 1280 x 800 screen, it gave us a first-hand look at the Glow Ball demo that wowed us in video form just a couple of days ago. What we saw on the dev tablet before us was no less impressive; lighting was being rendered in real time and scattered over a multiplicity of surfaces, while the cloth simulation was, to use a terrible pun, silky smooth. NVIDIA also ran us through a sightseeing tour of the Unreal Development Kit and Lost Planet 2, noting that the PC game took only a couple of months to port over to work on the Kal-El architecture. Unfortunately, no new details were forthcoming about when Kal-El devices might be coming or what developers we should expect to see coding games and other content to exploit the platform's evidently mighty capabilities. For now, we'll just have to sate ourselves with the video after the break.

Microsoft reveals ARM-powered Windows 8 prototypes (eyes-on)

Remember how Microsoft unveiled that whole "Windows 8" thing earlier today? It's back for more: here at Computex 2011 in Taipei, prototype ARM-based Windows 8 slates and smartbooks are coming out of the woodwork. Foxconn, Wistron and Quanta all unveiled early hardware for the new OS, with chips from Qualcomm, Texas Instruments and NVIDIA powering their live tiles -- including NVIDIA's upcoming Kal-El, which got both a tablet and a super-slim prototype notebook to call its own. Dell's also got a XPS development station up on stage, which Microsoft used to demo the UI -- it's bulky and ugly as such things are, but it suggests that Dell's also likely to have a portable Windows 8 machine at some point. For its part, Qualcomm is promising a chip that can instantly wake from sleep, and one of the devices showed that USB host support works fine and dandy. Unfortunately, none of these machines will make their way to market, but it's nice to know that the OEMs care enough to show their solidarity here.

Sony begins full restoration of its PSN and Qriocity services (update: intermittent issues)

Can it be happening? Is Sony's security nightmare finally over? Seems to be. On Tuesday, Sony promised full restoration of its PlayStation Network and Qriocity services in the Americas, Europe, and Asia (excluding Japan, Hong Kong, and South Korea) by the end of the week. Now Sony is proclaiming that today is the day for full restoration with details of its "welcome back" package to be announced from each region. The PlayStation Store is already up with a "huge lineup" of new games, demos, add-ons, themes, avatars, and videos along with an updated Playstation Plus. Hey, look on the bright side Sony, even though you've lost the confidence of millions of your customers, at least now they're aware of your Qriocity service. Full press release after the break.

Update: Working fine for us from London. We signed in to the PlayStation Store and even fired up Black Ops multiplayer just for kicks.

Update 2: We're now seeing error "80710D36" occasionally when trying to access the PlayStation Store, presumably due to congestion. We're seeing this from both London and New York.

Microsoft unveils Windows 8


We're live from Microsoft Windows president Steven Sinofsky's keynote at D9, and there's something rather exciting on stage -- a pair of experimental Windows 8 dev boards running an OS that looks very much like Windows Phone 7's Metro UI. All Things D actually sat down with the man earlier today and got a sneak peek at what to expect starting with the live tiled screen you see above -- and yes, like Windows Phone 7, this OS is designed for touch.

There'll be two kinds of applications for Windows 8, one that runs in a traditional desktop, and the other pseudo-mobile apps based on HTML5 and Javascript, but both environments -- rather, the entire OS -- have been designed from the ground up for touchscreen use. Keyboard and mouse will still be options for both sets of programs, but there are multiple virtual sets of keys for different form factors, including a split keyboard for vertical slate use. Multitasking is simply a matter of swiping running apps into the center of the screen, and you can pull windows partway to "snap" them in place alongside other windows -- even mixing and matching traditional desktop programs with web apps simultaneously (like Twitter alongside your spreadsheet). There's a new version of Internet Explorer 10 (which runs Silverlight) and an app store built into the touchscreen interface, along with integrated services like Office 365. Microsoft says the new OS will run on laptops, tablets and desktops when it appears -- whenever that might be.

All Things D didn't have any details on when we'll get pricing or availability, but we're looking at some Intel Atom-based demo units on stage right now, and Microsoft says it will have ARM designs (the OS will support NVIDIA, TI and Qualcomm) viewable on the Computex show floor, and more will be revealed at the Build Windows developer conference in September. We should note that "Windows 8" is just a codename for what we're seeing here -- "we'll figure out the real name in due time," Sinofsky told the crowd -- but we don't see much harm in calling it Windows 8 for now.

sourceAll Things D

HTC EVO View 4G (Flyer) headed to Sprint on June 24th

Are you seeing what we're seeing? That yellow starburst touting a "starting 6/24" promotion date is neatly affixed to the HTC EVO View 4G (aka, Flyer). If the grab above, nabbed from Sprint's internal Rewards Me site is to be believed, then we've got 7-inches of WiMax-loving Android tablet headed our way in three weeks time. Smack in the middle of the promised summer ship date. It's also a good bet that we'll be seeing the EVO 3D at about this time too. Anyone taking odds?