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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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