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Fox News today unveiled a new “News Deck” broadcast newsroom featuring an array of 55-inch touch-screen computers that appear to be running a version of Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system.

The network says it’s part of an effort to help its “information specialists” sift through and verify incoming reports more quickly, with the ability to put the screen from any of the machines on live television at any moment.

Fox News host Shepard Smith demos the new “News Deck” setup in the video below — without mentioning Windows 8 specifically. He says the network calls the displays “BATS,” for “Big Area Touchscreens.”

The Verge calls them giant “tablets”, but it’s not clear if they’re actually self-contained tablets or large-screen displays. We’ve asked Microsoft if it has any additional background on the network’s new technology setup.

Smith also demos other parts of the News Deck including a 38-foot video wall that can be controlled with a gesture-based remote control, and a giant wall with tweets and other items showing what the network’s producers and reporters are investigating at any moment.

Update: Headline of the day goes to Boing Boing: Fox News hires tiny little humans to work on gigantic iPads

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