Amidst the buzz of the new Windows Tablets, Bloomberg reported that Microsoft would be unveiling ARM architecture supporting Windows operating system at CES. Two people who preferred to stay anonymous stated that Microsoft’s plans are confidential for the software that would be tailored for tablet computers and other handhelds.
Microsoft already has been rumored to show off several tablets and devices Windows 7 at the Consumer Electronics Show 2011 in Las Vagas starting January 6. Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, might be showing a sneak preview to Windows 8 on tablets and other mobile devices as well. It’s quite possible that these new Slate tablets and mobile devices come loaded with new Windows operating system that supports ARM chips microarchitecture.
Till now only Apple iOS and Google Android mobile operating systems supported ARM microchips. Microsoft Windows on the other hand is written to support the X86 microarchitecture chips. Not only tablets but even smartphones carry ARM microarchitecture based chips. In a way, Windows was left out from rest of the handheld devices since it was basically limited only to x86 architecture only.
In July this year, Microsoft had signed an agreement to license the ARM microarchitecture and following that Microsoft unveiled Windows Phone 7 devices that support ARMv7 chips in October.
So far, Microsoft claims of having sold 1.5 Million Windows Phone 7 devices already to mobile operators and retailers. These figures do not represent the actual number of users owning a Windows Phone 7 device. With self-proclaimed Windows Phone 7 success, Microsoft obviously would be looking to go heavily into tablets and other mobile devices segment.
Microsoft didn’t include ARM chips support in Windows 7 and that’s where Google is looking to make the most in Netbook segment. That’s why Microsoft might be showing Windows 8 with ARM architecture support. It would be interesting to see Windows 8 running on 64-bit ARM implementation based microchip. If that happens then ARMs arch rival Intel and AMD might just nudge to get ready for a competition.
The ARM support to Windows will make the operating system run on low powered devices and still continue to make the best of hardware just like Windows CE does.
In short, Microsoft may show off tablets and mobile devices running a new Windows version that supports ARM architecture.