Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 28th Jan 2010 20:21 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems And yet another item on the iPad? Are we serious? Yes, we are, since this one is about something that even geeks who aren't interested in the iPad itself should find intriguing. Steve Jobs said yesterday that the iPad is powered by an Apple A4 processor, but contrary to what many seem to think - it wasn't designed in-house at all.
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RE[2]: windows 7 on ARM?
by lemur2 on Fri 29th Jan 2010 00:04 UTC in reply to "RE: windows 7 on ARM?"
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It probably has. Windows NT was originally written on a custom architecture as to ensure no platform-specific code would seep into the codebase. I'm sure Microsoft's major products (Office, Windows) have at least some variants running on ARM.

Microsoft probably does have versions of Windows running on ARM. This will not help them.

There is a large corpus of x86 binary executable Windows software out there in people's possession. This consists not only of things like drivers for their printers, cameras, phones and other miscellaneous pieces, but it also consists of unused licenses for desktop applications such as Office (for example, they have installed so far only one copy of Office from a three-license pack).

In addition, there is all kinds of specialist software, distributed as x86 binary executable only, from all kinds of sources other than Microsoft, which people expect to be able to use. An example might be a Windows utility, designed to run on a laptop, to set parameters on a high-end audio mixer console.

Finally, much of Microsoft's historical lock-in attempts revolve around tie-in to the x86 platform. A good example of this is ActiveX:
You can’t run Windows based ActiveX controls on a Windows Mobile devices. (X86 and ARM processors are too dissimilar.)


Windows Mobile IE Mobile does not support automatic download of ActiveX controls. This was a deliberate decision made to increase device security and to avoid the first point (a X86 version of a control being pushed down to a ARM based device)

When they opt to purchase any Windows machine, people expect to be able to use all this software.

People won't be able to use any of this type of software if they purchase a new machine which runs Windows on ARM. So people will have to switch to a new set of applications if they are going to buy an ARM-based device.

If they are switching to a new set of applications anyway, this represents an ideal time for people to just ditch Windows and finally be rid of all the problems and encumberances it brings.

Edited 2010-01-29 00:13 UTC

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