Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 18th May 2011 21:50 UTC, submitted by fran
Windows The ARM version of Windows 8 might have just become the most desired version of Windows in our hearts and minds. After us talking about legacy code and backwards compatibility in Windows for years now, an Intel senior vice president, Renee James, has just stated that Windows 8 on ARM will not have any form of compatibility for legacy applications whatsoever. Update: Microsoft has responded to Intel's claims. "Intel's statements during yesterday's Intel Investor Meeting about Microsoft's plans for the next version of Windows were factually inaccurate and unfortunately misleading," the company said, "From the first demonstrations of Windows on SoC, we have been clear about our goals and have emphasized that we are at the technology demonstration stage. As such, we have no further details or information at this time."
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Servers, power savings, virtual machines, cloud computing? Ever heard of it? Money talks, and if Microsoft doesn't hear the train coming, they wouldn't touch ARM with a ten foot pole. Intel is putting on a very brave face, but they are getting thier a$$ handed to them on two fronts; smart-phone's, and tablet's. Are they going to make that server's and workstation's ,also?

Intel wasn't even trying when they created the first generation Atom (the one that the article you linked to compares to ARM Cortex A9 - look at the dates). First generation Atom used an old power hungry chipset that used more power than the CPU, old 45 nm fab, etc. For performance/watt it got beaten by just about everything (Nehalem, VIA's Nano, AMDs CPUs, etc). More recent Atom isn't much better - they improved the chipset (but didn't do much for the CPU itself). It's like Intel were just toying with the idea as a way of getting more use out of manufacturing plants that had become too old for their main product lines.

If Calxeda's 480-core server was actually good, they would've compared it to Intel CPUs intended for servers (Core 2, Nehalem or Sandy Bridge Xeons) instead.

I would wager to say that Intel, not Arm, is the on that needs to change their architecture .

I'd wager that Intel will actually start trying; Microsoft won't continually keep making new distributions of Windows for each new ARM SoC (and ARM notebooks and smartphones will be stuck with the 4 existing SoCs that Windows 8 will support, which will become obsolete fast); after about 3 years (when Intel has caught up on the low power/low performance market) Microsoft won't be able to see why they bother with the hassle of many different ARM distributions; Windows 9 will be 64-bit 80x86 only; and ARM will go back to embedded systems.

The only real hope for ARM is if they get together and create a standardised platform (rather than just a standardised CPU/instruction set); so that it's possible for Microsoft to create one version of the OS for all ARM systems rather than having to customise the OS to suit each different ARM system. It really wouldn't take too much either - just slap something like OpenFirmware on top and fill out any of the missing features. Sadly, it'd be like herding cats, and I can't see it happening quickly enough.

- Brendan

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