A Business Insider report has claimed that Microsoft is set to demo the firm's Windows 8 user interface for tablets by end end of June.
Citing 'a source at Microsoft', the report claims that the software giant is looking to demonstrate a "more Apple-like approach" to interface design, borrowing from the UI already on the market with Windows Phone 7.
Last Wednesday, Microsoft's regular video production "Craig Mundie's TechForum' published a video titled "A Look Ahead" where Microsoft research chief Mundy talked about some of the new approaches in user interface design that the company was investigating.
Mundie said he thought the market was approaching "one of the biggest shifts in the evolution of computing ever", while the video appears to show off a number of interesting control schemes such as touch-less hand-waving input and a touch-screen inteface on a small device controlling the OS on a large screen television.
At the 47 second mark into the video an interface appears which has been widely speculated as a glimpse at the forthcoming Windows 8 UI.
Microsoft having been left behind on the touchscreen revolution begun by the Apple iPhone, the firm played rapid catch up with the launch of Windows Phone 7.
However Windows 7 looks set to struggle against competition from touch-friendly operating systems from Apple and Google.
Previous rumours emerged that Windows 8 powered tablets would appear in the first quarter of 2012, far earlier than anticipated. CNET Microsoft pundit Mary Jo Foley speculated in February that Microsoft may be looking to roll out Windows 8 on tablets first.
If the Business Insider report is accurate it may be an indication that Microsoft is planning using the Windows Phone 7 rapid development cycle as a launchpad to deliver some variant of Windows 8 on tablet computers as early as the first half of next year.