updated 05:40 pm EST, Wed January 5, 2011
Windows 8 to use ARM in tablet battle
Microsoft today confirmed its plans to bring Windows to ARM and provided its first look at Windows 8. Windows President Steven Sinofsky showed the OS running on multiple different ARM chips, including an NVIDIA Tegra 2, a Qualcomm Snapdragon and a TI OMAP chip. Its build, 6.2.7867, was a clear alpha at most and wasn't ready to be shown on video, Microsoft said.
The software will work on everything up to and including systems-on-a-chip. Its scalability will let it work on low-power devices, Microsoft said in its official news.
Microsoft hasn't given any estimates as to when Windows 8 would ship, but it's unofficially thought to be getting a public beta by the end of 2011. It will continue to support x86 processors, Microsoft mentioned in reassuring users.
The lack of ARM support has increasingly been considered a liability for Microsoft. CEO Steve Ballmer has regularly tried to push Atom-based Windows tablets but has had little success as the poor battery life, slow performance and high prices has let Apple's iPad, Samsung's Galaxy Tab and other ARM devices essentially control the tablet market despite Microsoft's eight-year history in the field. [via WinRumors]