updated 04:15 pm EST, Mon November 9, 2009
ARM-based smartbooks won't get Windows 7 for now
Microsoft's corporate VP for the Windows Platform Strategy, Mike Nash, revealed in a Digitimes report that Windows 7 will not support ARM processors in the near future, as Microsoft will continue its close cooperation with Intel. This is significant as numerous manufacturers will be bringing out smartbook PCs powered by ARM CPUs in 2010. Nash did point out that Windows CE, which supports ARM processors, can be used to power smartbooks.
Nash also said market response indicates netbook users are willing to pay a premium for using Windows 7, despite some vendors opting for less expensive operating systems. This could also apply to smartbooks, with Windows CE-powered devices on the low end of the market, and eventually smartbooks running on Windows 7 on the high-end of the spectrum.
To keep costs down and because they support ARM processors natively, smartbooks are expected to run on Android or other Linux-based operating systems.