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Microsoft Puts Meat On Windows 8 ARM Bones

The idea of Windows 8 and its Metro interface running on ARM-based machines is pretty sick -- in a good way. Windows 8 offers true enterprise functions while ARM brings long battery life. Think of upcoming Win 8/ARM tablets as an iPad where you don't have to work to make it work-worthy.

But Microsoft has provoked more questions than answers. Will ARM run existing apps? Can I run new apps that use the traditional GUI? How much after the Intel Win 8 release will ARM arrive? And does it lean more towards IT or consumers?

So Microsoft is starting to come clean. First, the acronym master has a new way to say Windows 8 on ARM. It's WOA. Reminds me of Yosemite Sam on a camel. "Whoa camel, whoa. When I says Whoa, I means Whooaaaaah!" (Write me at dbarney@redmondmag.com if you remember that episode.)

The new info comes courtesy of a monster blog from Windows honcho Steve Sinofsky.

First, ARM will run classic apps. That is great. But it isn't the old apps. It is new classic apps, meaning developers will rewrite Windows GUI apps to ARM. It won't be a simple port.

ARM won't have virtualization (largely because all Microsoft's virt tools, which took a long time making, are designed for Intel).

Microsoft also now pledges that Office 15 will run on ARM. Sweet-ah!

Microsoft hopes to ship WOA (I can't believe I just used that acronym) at the same time as Windows 8 Intel (is this WOI?).

Posted by Doug Barney on 02/13/2012 at 1:19 PM


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Reader Comments:

Tue, Feb 14, 2012 Thomas Upstate NY

If it is coming out at the same time as Windows 9 on Intel, why bother! When is Windows 9 on Intel due out, the end of 2013 or early 2014?

Tue, Feb 14, 2012

I'm a developer. I bought an Acer tablet (with detachable keyboard) and installed the Win8 preview on it. I had planned to develop some sample Metro apps but, long story short, Microsoft's - IMHO - crappy and inflexible VS11 preview roll-out spoiled those plans. I have mixed feelings about Win8 which I use daily (Doug you mentioned some of my complaints in a post a while back). That said, the Microsoft-bashing here is getting a little stale. From what I've seen (but been unable to touch), Microsoft has done a lot of work to make sharing code between non-Metro and Metro apps largely seamless. With the post-Tango release of WP7 (Apollo?) appearing to share Win8 libraries, Microsoft (who'll get no credit for innovation) will be the only platform allowing developers to code for servers, desktops, laptops, netbooks, tablets and smart phones. Not to mention develop for Intel or ARM (why would a Metro-ready app take more than a recompile between the two?) Even if iOS eventually spans iMacs, iPhones, and iPads where's the iServer and inexpensive (a word like garlic to a vampire at Apple headquarters) iNetbook? Is WOA any dumber than Apple's unimaginative cliché i-everything marketing (still waiting on my iMrCoffee and iPad-enabled iToilet)?

Mon, Feb 13, 2012 Aleks Kleyn

I run win 8 developer preview. the GUI from old application in some cases is not good. Even I installed visual studio 11 it does not help. For instance if form has data grid, I have to minimize and restore this problem to see it properly. When I work with internet explorer there are web site which I should go to other PC to see them properly. There is other problem. when I open email or click to any tab in internet explorer very often the page that I closed some time ago may show up before I will see requested page. This looks very confusing. This also may create problem if page has private information and I call my friend to show him something different. However there is no way to report bug.

Mon, Feb 13, 2012

"Microsoft hopes to ship WOA (I can't believe I just used that acronym) at the same time as **Windows 9 Intel** (is this WOI?)." We have Win 9 already?! Please tell me it ain't so!

Mon, Feb 13, 2012 Bryan Bellevue

Question.... you said they hope to ship it with Windows 9??? you mean 8?

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