In a very long post on the Building Windows 8 blog Steven Sinofsky has written about the new Windows on ARM (WOA) platform and its relationship with the Intel platform. It’s a pretty details post and worth reading but I thought a few parts of it where worth highlighting.
- Sinofsky refers to WOA as a member of the Windows family on the lines of Windows Server and Windows Phone and not a subset of Windows 8.
- x86/64 applications will not run on ARM and they can’t be emulated or ported to run
- WOA PCs are in development and are due to ship at the same time as Windows 8 on Intel
- Metro apps written with WinRT will work on ARM and Intel
- There will be desktop version of Office 15 designed for WOA
- The Windows desktop is in the ARM version and applications like File Explorer, IE and other “intrinsic” Windows desktop features.
I think the message Microsoft are trying to promote is that Windows 8 on ARM is a parallel platform to the Intel version and that Metro apps will work on both systems (via the app store) and current x86/64 application will not work in on ARM. I post is well work reading and there is a video embedded that shows of WAO. I am certainly looking forward to seeing WOA Windows 8 devices.
One of the notable aspects of Microsoft Windows has been the flexibility the architecture has shown through shifts in technology and expansion of customer usage over time. What started out as an operating system for one person working solo with productivity software is now the foundation of a wide array of hardware and software technologies, a spectrum of connected Windows products, and an incredibly flexible approach to computing. With Windows 8, we have reimagined Windows from the chipset to the experience—and bringing this reimagined Windows to the ARM® processor architecture is a significant part of this innovation. Expanding the view of the PC to cover a much wider range of form factors and designs than some think of today is an important part of these efforts. Windows on ARM enables creativity in PC design that, in combination with newly architected features of the Windows OS, will bring to customers new, no-compromise PCs.