Rumor: Microsoft working on ARM-friendly Windows OS

By on December 22, 2010, 6:10 AM
We’ve seen Microsoft shoot down speculation about an ARM-friendly version of Windows before, but it seems that the rumor mill is at it again. According to a report on Bloomberg, the company will use its CES keynote event to unveil some form of Windows running on an ARM processor. The software will reportedly be tailored for battery-powered devices, such as tablet computers and other handhelds.

Of course, versions of Windows for ARM processors already exist in the form of Windows CE for embedded systems and Windows Phone 7 for touch-enabled handhelds. Microsoft kind of painted itself into a corner with the name of the latter, though, so my initial thought is that they’d show a tablet-optimized version of their phone platform under a different name. But the Wall Street Journal is reporting that the release might not ship for another two years, which has sparked speculation that this may be a more full-featured version of the desktop OS rather than a port.

As you probably already know Microsoft has a new version of Windows coming out in 2012. Rumors say it’ll run two interfaces: one supported by high-end notebook and desktop PCs and the other by less powerful systems doing more basic tasks. So maybe Windows 8 will support both x86 and ARM architectures and we’ll see some early form of it at CES. Then again, Microsoft rarely shows pre-alpha platforms at this type of events so take that with a grain of salt.

Whatever the case, this is certainly not the vote of confidence Intel needs as it fiercely tries to gain a stronger foothold in the handheld segment through acquisitions and developing more power-efficient Atom chips.




User Comments: 7

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princeton princeton said:

I doubt it. Until ARM has more desktop market share it wouldn't be financially justifiable for MS to make the next windows (8 maybe?) run on ARM cpus.

Guest said:

they are probably thinking about tablets and phones

princeton princeton said:

Guest said:

they are probably thinking about tablets and phones

But they already have mobile OS's that run on ARM.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

princeton said:

Guest said:

they are probably thinking about tablets and phones

But they already have mobile OS's that run on ARM.

But not a fully fledged Windows like OS, I've used the Windows enbedded OS and its not great at all.

Windows Phone 7 is not going to be great on tablets unless they seriously modify it, then again, android is proof that it is possible.

Still it would be nice to see a full Windows OS on an arm based tablet, unless Atom really does start to become power effcient.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

A scalable OS that you essentially use the same way would be great. Not being part of the Apple ecosystem, already having a different OS for my phone and for my computer, I don't want to add a third OS for tablet.

Guest said:

really wish I hadn't have sold that ARM stock I bought cheap in 2004....

Guest said:

It took Android to scare M$ into supporting non-Intel cpus again. DEC Alpha was the last one they supported for NT and it never gained popularity (prolly cuz NT sucks). Remember theres talk of using Arm based cpus in server farms since they're more power efficient than Intel.

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