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No 'Desktop' for ARM's Windows 8?

Unless you are a true insider or student of Windows, Win 8 is a mite confusing. There are two interfaces, "Desktop," which looks like the classic Win 7 desktop, and "Metro," which looks like the user interface on a Windows phone. Two processor architectures will be supported, x86/x64 (Intel and AMD) and ARM. Intel and AMD machines will run older apps using the Desktop interface, as well as newer HTML 5-based apps under the newer Metro interface.

ARM-based machines will run Metro apps, largely written in HTML 5, but the capability of ARM-based machines to run Win 7 apps with the Desktop UI is less clear. Last I heard, ARM would run older apps only if they were rewritten/recompiled for ARM. Now even that is coming into question.

Microsoft is reportedly thinking about dumping Desktop for ARM, leaving ARM as a pure tablet play, not a full enterprise PC.

Microsoft is not helping to clarify matters. After a massive PowerPoint orgy at the Build Conference in September, and the release of working code, Microsoft Win 8 execs have been quieter than Teller ever since.
What is your take on Windows 8 ARM support? Thoughts and advice welcome at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Posted by Doug Barney on 12/05/2011 at 1:18 PM


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