Long Zheng, over at IStartedSomething.com, has put together a nice case to show that Windows 8 slate devices will have the ability to make phone calls. The first piece of evidence is front and center in the picture above, which comes from a slide show on Windows 8 live tiles at the last day of BUILD 2011 in Anaheim. One of the sample tiles is clearly labeled "Missed Calls," complete with a phone icon and time-stamped Contact names.
If that weren't enough, a freeze frame of a Contact in the People Hub of a Windows 8 demo video (below) shows the option to call the person's mobile phone. This denotes that any calling functionality is more than just VOIP-based.
Last, but certainly not least, we have some hardware evidence. Those fortunate enough to attend BUILD received a slate loaded with Windows 8, along with some other goodies. WithinWindows.com's Rafael Rivera broke down the specs of the device and found it contained an Option wireless chip, which not only controls the WiFi, GPS and 3G, but alos supports cellular telephony using quad-band 2G and peta-band 3G.
We know that Skype will be a big part of Microsoft's operating systems going forward, but the ability to make mobile phone calls as well is a pretty handy feature. More interestingly, Zheng points out that this functionality could signal that the Windows 8 kernal may in fact be used as the foundation for future Windows Phone versions.