There's a whole lot riding on Windows 8. Windows 7 may be the big player on the desktop, but when it comes to tablets Microsoft has carved itself a niche in the corner. The company has arguably been the longest proponent of the tablet form-factor - Windows XP Tablet Edition was released almost nine years ago - but in recent years its stylus-centric hardware has failed to gain traction amid iOS and Android models. Now, with its first demonstration of how Windows 8 will handle this new generation of tableteers, Microsoft is setting out its stall for where it sees the slate segment developing. Finger on the pulse or just plain out of touch?