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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windows 7 on ARM?
by project_2501 on Thu 28th Jan 2010 20:49 UTC
project_2501
Member since:
2006-03-20

I wonder if Microsoft has Windows 7 running on ARM deep inside its labs?

Reply Score: 3

RE: windows 7 on ARM?
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 28th Jan 2010 21:06 in reply to "windows 7 on ARM?"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

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.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: windows 7 on ARM?
by FunkyELF on Thu 28th Jan 2010 21:17 in reply to "RE: windows 7 on ARM?"
FunkyELF Member since:
2006-07-26

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.


Yeah, It will probably stay in those labs until Intel runs out of money from lawsuits.

It would not surprise me at all if Intel was paying Microsoft somehow to keep Windows x86 only like it was paying HP (well, offering discounts actuall, but isn't that the same thing?) to stop offering AMD based workstations.

Why is AT&T allowed to pay Apple to keep iPhone only on their network but Intel is not allowed to offer OEMs money to keep only their processors?

Either way... Microsoft is pretty incompetent as far as coding security (Internet Explorer) or even coding an operating system (isn't task management the main function of an operating system yet you have to "end process" 30 times before it actually stops and thats if you can even get the task manager open), but I don't think they're that stupid to not have Windows 7 running on ARM yet.

I'm sure their Windows 7 Mobile is running on ARM.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: windows 7 on ARM?
by jwwf on Thu 28th Jan 2010 21:52 in reply to "RE: windows 7 on ARM?"
jwwf Member since:
2006-01-19

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.


Quite right. I believe that NT was first written on the Intel i860, with which almost nobody ever made a general purpose computer, but which was used in UNIX workstation graphics boards (SGI, Sun, etc.) in the early 90s, plus for the NextDimension board for Next cubes.

We know they have the newest kernel running on Itanium (via 2008 R2). So a big fraction of Windows must still be portable.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: windows 7 on ARM?
by lemur2 on Fri 29th Jan 2010 00:04 in reply to "RE: windows 7 on ARM?"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

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:
http://blogs.msdn.com/iemobile/archive/2007/06/20/ie-mobile-support...
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

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: windows 7 on ARM?
by abraxas on Fri 29th Jan 2010 01:05 in reply to "RE: windows 7 on ARM?"
abraxas Member since:
2005-07-07

Windows NT was originally written on a custom architecture as to ensure no platform-specific code would seep into the codebase.


While NT's HAL allows it to be more portable it's not quite true that NO platform specific code has seeped into the codebase. Some calls bypass the HAL and directly access hardware.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: windows 7 on ARM?
by tylerdurden on Fri 29th Jan 2010 19:52 in reply to "RE: windows 7 on ARM?"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

"Windows NT was originally written on a custom architecture as to ensure no platform-specific code would seep into the codebase. "

Huh? No, not even close... NT was originally developed for a very specific processor: the Intel 80860. The fact that the processor flopped in all sorts of ways as a possible x86 replacement in the late 80s is what forced Microsoft to move NT to a different platform: MIPS. Which also flopped in the desktop.

NT became relatively platform "agnostic" (even though it was not the case since there were some serious portability issues across different versions of NT for different ISAs) as a side effect, not because it was part of the original design.

At the time of its introduction in the early 90s, NT had to be buzzword compliant. And at that time the prevailing wisdom was RISC=good, CISC=baaad. Do not confuse marketing with design goals...

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: windows 7 on ARM?
by Darkness on Thu 28th Jan 2010 21:19 in reply to "windows 7 on ARM?"
Darkness Member since:
2005-08-27

They would be idiots if they didn't...

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: windows 7 on ARM?
by Delgarde on Thu 28th Jan 2010 21:45 in reply to "windows 7 on ARM?"
Delgarde Member since:
2008-08-19

I wonder if Microsoft has Windows 7 running on ARM deep inside its labs?


Well, Windows Mobile versions run on non-x86, so I'd assume the regular desktop versions at least have the capability, if not the driver support...

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: windows 7 on ARM?
by CaptainN- on Thu 28th Jan 2010 23:05 in reply to "windows 7 on ARM?"
CaptainN- Member since:
2005-07-07

There was an article a while back where some MS exec basically admitted Vista and then Windows 7 was all about cleaning up the mess they made with Windows XP - and that they would be moving on to porting the now clean and stable Windows 7 core - first to servers (and finish removing GUI items from core dlls), and then on to replacing/augmenting/integrating the Windows Mobile kernel.

So I actually doubt that they have a full working version of Windows 7 on ARM, just yet, but they seem to have said that that's the plan.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: windows 7 on ARM?
by gfolkert on Fri 29th Jan 2010 14:12 in reply to "RE: windows 7 on ARM?"
gfolkert Member since:
2008-12-15

There was an article a while back where some MS exec basically admitted Vista and then Windows 7 was all about cleaning up the mess they made with Windows XP - and that they would be moving on to porting the now clean and stable Windows 7 core - first to servers (and finish removing GUI items from core dlls), and then on to replacing/augmenting/integrating the Windows Mobile kernel.


First thing they *need* to do is get back to using a properly designed Ring 0, Ring 1, Ring 2 and Ring 3 setup. Rather than putting drivers and applications into Ring 0 (for performance and "no security"), keep them in Rings 2 and 3 where they should be. ActiveX should have *never* happened the way it did.

Reply Parent Score: 0

RE[2]: windows 7 on ARM?
by boldingd on Fri 29th Jan 2010 20:17 in reply to "RE: windows 7 on ARM?"
boldingd Member since:
2009-02-19

Indeed.

Microsoft may have a version of the NT kernel with a basic sub-set of the executive running on ARM, but I highly, highly doubt that they've got the whole of the executive and/or a significant chunk of the GUI environment ported over and running - even an incomplete test/scratch version.

Reply Parent Score: 2