CES: Microsoft shows Windows running on ARM

 

Full-blown Windows running on ARM processors.

Microsoft has demonstrated Windows and various Office applications running on ARM processors for the first time at CES in Las Vegas.

The shift towards the ARM architecture is part of Microsoft's plans for the next generation of Windows, Microsoft's Windows chief Steven Sinofsky confirmed, although he was very circumspect on the detail of "Windows 8".

Microsoft showed the full version of Windows running on four different systems-on-a-chip: one based on Intel Atom and three based on ARM processors, namely Qualcomm's Snapdragon, Texas Instruments' OMAP and Nvidia's Tegra.

Aside from the operating system itself, Microsoft also demonstrated adapted versions Word, Excel and PowerPoint running on ARM-based platforms, although Microsoft conceded that there's a great deal of work to be done with wider application compatibility.

"It's definitely the case that x86 programs don't run on ARM," said Sinofsky. "We'll have a lot more to say about apps and development opportunities down the road."

However, he suggested that application and device compatibility won't be a major barrier.

"We've made a native version of Word running on ARM," he boasted. "We're printing using the normal Windows architecture. It involved a small amount of work from Epsom running on a new class of driver."

Windows 8?

Sinofsky was very guarded on precise details of the next version of Windows. The demonstrations used the Windows 7 user interface, and the Microsoft executive refused to discuss release dates or version details. It's not clear whether Microsoft will develop the x86 version of Windows alongside the ARM version or as separate projects.

Sinofsky even refused to confirm whether what was being displayed was Windows 8.

"I didn't say Windows 8, I said the next generation of Windows," he replied, when asked to clarify what was being demonstrated.

System requirements

Sinofsky was keen to play down the demands Windows places on hardware, noting how modern smartphone specifications are similar to the minimum system requirements for Windows 7.

"With every new version of Windows the system requirements doubled," Sinofsky said. "A funny thing happened with Windows 7 - the system requirements dropped."

"It's a little early to talk about the system requirements for the next generation of Windows," he added, but said that the company was attempting to repeat the parsimony of Windows 7.

Potential devices

While moving to the low-power ARM architecture is clearly designed to give Windows a much needed boost in the tablet market, Sinofsky refused to be drawn on specific device plans.

"Today is when we start to kick off the dialogue with our partners who make these devices," he said.

However, he was very clear that there would be no crossover with Windows Phone 7, ruling out the use of Microsoft's new smartphone OS on tablet devices. "[Windows] Phone is uniquely focused small form factor," he said. "Small screen is Windows Phone, and these [tablet] screens are Windows."

This article originally appeared at pcpro.co.uk

Copyright © PC Pro, Dennis Publishing


CES: Microsoft shows Windows running on ARM
 
 
 
Top Stories
Frugality as a service: the Amazon story
Behind the scenes, Amazon Web Services is one lean machine.
 
Negotiating with the cloud email megavendors
[Blog post] Lessons from Woolworths’ mammoth migration.
 
Qld govt to move up to 149k staff onto Office 365
Australia's largest deployment, outside of the universities.
 
 
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...

Latest VideosSee all videos »

The great data centre opportunity on Australia's doorstep
The great data centre opportunity on Australia's doorstep
Scott Noteboom, CEO of LitBit speaking at The Australian Data Centre Strategy Summit 2014 in the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. http://bit.ly/1qpxVfV Scott Noteboom is a data centre engineer who led builds for Apple and Yahoo in the earliest days of the cloud, and who now eyes Asia as the next big opportunity. Read more: http://www.itnews.com.au/News/372482,how-do-we-serve-three-billion-new-internet-users.aspx#ixzz2yNLmMG5C
Interview: Karl Maftoum, CIO, ACMA
Interview: Karl Maftoum, CIO, ACMA
To COTS or not to COTS? iTnews asks Karl Maftoum, CIO of the ACMA, at the CIO Strategy Summit.
Susan Sly: What is the Role of the CIO?
Susan Sly: What is the Role of the CIO?
AEMO chief information officer Susan Sly calls for more collaboration among Australia's technology leaders at the CIO Strategy Summit.
Meet the 2014 Finance CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Finance CIO of the Year
Credit Union Australia's David Gee awarded Finance CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards.
Meet the 2014 Retail CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Retail CIO of the Year
Damon Rees named Retail CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at Woolworths.
Robyn Elliott named the 2014 Utilities CIO of the Year
Robyn Elliott named the 2014 Utilities CIO of the Year
Acting Foxtel CIO David Marks accepts an iTnews Benchmark Award on behalf of Robyn Elliott.
Meet the 2014 Industrial CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Industrial CIO of the Year
Sanjay Mehta named Industrial CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at ConocoPhillips.
Meet the 2014 Healthcare CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Healthcare CIO of the Year
Greg Wells named Healthcare CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at NSW Health.
Meet the 2014 Education CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Education CIO of the Year
William Confalonieri named Healthcare CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at Deakin University.
Meet the 2014 Government CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Government CIO of the Year
David Johnson named Government CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at the Queensland Police Service.
Q and A: Coalition Broadband Policy
Q and A: Coalition Broadband Policy
Malcolm Turnbull and Tony Abbott discuss the Coalition's broadband policy with the press.
AFP scalps hacker 'leader' inside Australia's IT ranks.
AFP scalps hacker 'leader' inside Australia's IT ranks.
The Australian Federal Police have arrested a Sydney-based IT security professional for hacking a government website.
NBN Petition Delivered To Turnbull's Office
NBN Petition Delivered To Turnbull's Office
UTS CIO: IT teams of the future
UTS CIO: IT teams of the future
UTS CIO Chrissy Burns talks data.
New UTS Building: the IT within
New UTS Building: the IT within
The IT behind tomorrow's universities.
iTnews' NBN Panel
iTnews' NBN Panel
Is your enterprise NBN-ready?
Introducing iTnews Labs
Introducing iTnews Labs
See a timelapse of the iTnews labs being unboxed, set up and switched on! iTnews will produce independent testing of the latest enterprise software to hit the market after installing a purpose-built test lab in Sydney. Watch the installation of two DL380p servers, two HP StoreVirtual 4330 storage arrays and two HP ProCurve 2920 switches.
The True Cost of BYOD
The True Cost of BYOD
iTnews' Brett Winterford gives attendees of the first 'Touch Tomorrow' event in Brisbane a brief look at his research into enterprise mobility. What are the use cases and how can they be quantified? What price should you expect to pay for securing mobile access to corporate applications? What's coming around the corner?
Ghost clouds
Ghost clouds
ACMA chair Chris Chapman says there is uncertainty over whether certain classes of cloud service providers are caught by regulations.
Was the Snowden leak inevitable?
Was the Snowden leak inevitable?
Privacy experts David Vaile (UNSW Cyberspace Law and Policy Centre) and Craig Scroggie (CEO, NextDC) claim they were not surprised by the Snowden leaks about the NSA's PRISM program.
Latest articles on BIT Latest Articles from BIT
Preview of new PowerPoint tool Office Mix announced
Apr 23, 2014
PowerPoint users might be interested in some new developments coming up that might change the ...
Another phone with Telstra's Blue Tick: The Samsung Galaxy S5
Apr 8, 2014
Samsung's latest flagship phone joins Telstra's list of recommended handsets for customers in ...
Run an online shop? This might be worth bookmarking
Mar 28, 2014
Things like Australian safety standards are probably the last thing on your mind, but just ...
Vodafone switches on 4G in Tasmania: list of locations
Mar 28, 2014
See a list of locations in Tasmania that now have access to 4G via Vodafone's network.
Samsung Galaxy S5 on sale from Telstra next month for $912
Mar 27, 2014
It's not cheap, but if you are looking to upgrade your phone then the Samsung Galaxy S5 could be ...
Latest Comments
Polls
Which bank is most likely to suffer an RBS-style meltdown?





   |   View results
ANZ
  20%
 
Bankwest
  9%
 
CommBank
  11%
 
National Australia Bank
  17%
 
Suncorp
  24%
 
Westpac
  19%
TOTAL VOTES: 1495

Vote