Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 21st Dec 2010 22:56 UTC, submitted by fran
Windows Very light on details, but this is interesting nonetheless - very interesting, and potentially one of the biggest things to have hit the operating systems business this decade. Bloomberg is reporting that Microsoft plans to announce Windows for ARM processors at CES in January 2011.
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RE: what's the point?
by tanishaj on Wed 22nd Dec 2010 02:38 UTC in reply to "what's the point?"
tanishaj
Member since:
2010-12-22

No devices? Seems to me that is why they are doing this. The hardware market has clearly declared ARM the platform of choice for tablets. MS wants to run on those tablets.

It seems more like a pragmatic response to the market than anything.

No applications? Well, the Win32 API is the most supported platform on earth. Many apps and libraries might work with a simple recompile. There are millions of developers with the skills to target Windows on ARM.

Microsoft may even have the chance to distribute ARM apps through an app store like Apple has done. This would be a whole new revenue stream.

No drivers? Why would a wireless card in a tablet need a different driver than the one in a laptop? Even if they have to be written, the Windows driver model is not exactly uncharted territory for hardware vendors. I bet drivers will not be a problem.

It would be a huge win for Microsoft if they could retire Windows CE and deploy a common code-base from tablets up (as Linux has done). They retired the Windows 95 code and moved everything to Windows NT (Windows 2000) when desktops became powerful enough. This could be much the same.

Remember, the NT core used to ship on x86, MIPS, PowerPC, and Alpha. Those are the ones I can remember anyway. It has run on PowerPC more recently in gaming. So, it seems like cross-platform capability has really been part of the plan for a very long time.

Also, this could be a warning shot across Intel's bow. Intel has been toying with Linux which reduces the power of the Wintel duopoly.

Microsoft using their market dominance to reduce Intel's market power long before Intel has a chance to use theirs against Microsoft is a proactive move, not a desperate one.

All-in-all, I cannot think of a reason not to do it. What exactly are they risking? Desperate moves are usually not nothing but potential upside for the party making them. What is the downside?

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