Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 5th Jan 2011 22:09 UTC
Windows And this is part two of the story: Microsoft has just confirmed the next version of Windows NT (referring to it as NT for clarity's sake) will be available for ARM - or more specifically, SoCs from NVIDIA, Qualcomm, and Texas Instruments. Also announced today at CES is Microsoft Office for ARM. Both Windows NT and Microsoft Office were shown running on ARM during a press conference for the fact at CES in Las Vegas.
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RE[2]: BC
by lemur2 on Thu 6th Jan 2011 09:27 UTC in reply to "RE: BC"
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"If this turns out to be succesful, this will be the biggest binary break in the history of mankind. Microsoft delayed this for a very good reason, and that's not big/little endian ;-).

It means there is no longer value in all the "legacy" crap that runs only on windows (shareware, etc), and it means there will be a bunch of windows computers that are immune to computer viruses running around (for a while).

Viruses (in the strictest sense of the term)- perhaps, that depends on how MS handle x86 emulation (if at all).

Malware- definitely not. So long as shell scripting and other such interpreted code can still execute, malware can still be written. In fact with Office being ported to ARM, you instantly open up the problem that the same malicious VBA macros on x86 Office will work on ARM NT too. The same would be true for WSH, Powershell and even DHTML et al content.

Also, if Windows NT and MS Office can both be recompiled for ARM, so too can any viruses or other malware also be recompiled for ARM.

Just about the only thing that needs to be retained (in order for Windows malware to still work on ARM) is that the OS API is still Windows. This means that the same source code can still be re-compiled for a different machine architecture.

That is probably exactly what Microsoft theselves did to make MS Offcie for ARM.

In the short term Windows on ARM won't have any malware, but if Windows on ARM reaches significant usage numbers, Windows malware for ARM will very soon also start to appear.

The essential features for malware are that: (1) the API must be consistent (so that source code can be recompiled), and (2) trade secret source code with binary only executables which are routinely distributed and installed by end users.

Windows for ARM will faithfully retain those two essential elements from Windows for x86.

Edited 2011-01-06 09:31 UTC

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