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."
Thread beginning with comment 473761
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE[3]: It makes sense
by WereCatf on Thu 19th May 2011 16:50 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: It makes sense"
Member since:

Interesting that they demo'd Word, though.

Excel is known to include a bunch of x86 assembly code.

Assembly code is not a terribly big problem. Just use a assembly -> C translator, and you get a compilable file to use. It'll work the same, maybe slightly slower, but it'll allow you to actually get a working executable for now and you can optimize it again for the new platform later when all the more important tasks are done.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[4]: It makes sense
by toast88 on Fri 20th May 2011 00:15 in reply to "RE[3]: It makes sense"
toast88 Member since:

Assembly code is not a terribly big problem. Just use a assembly -> C translator, and you get a compilable file to use.

Uh, I highly doubt that this will work in all cases.

When people code in assembly, they do it for a reason and not for fun. It's about SIMD instruction sets like MMX, MMX2, SSE etc. I want to see a decompiler which can create usable C code from such highly optimized assembly code.

If all of this was so easy, it hadn't taken Adobe and Sun so long to get their plugins (Flash and Java) running on x86_64.

I'm not saying that it is impossible to port these applications, but it takes a lot of ressources and any software company/developer will always have to decide whether it's worth the effort to port to a completely new architecture.

Why would they now switch again after just having switched to x86_64?

I actually highly doubt that Windows on ARM will have real chances on the desktop market. The only market that would be eligible are tablets and smart phones where competition is very very strong thanks to Android and iOS =).


Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[4]: It makes sense
by viton on Fri 20th May 2011 16:26 in reply to "RE[3]: It makes sense"
viton Member since:

assembly->C is hard
x86 asm -> ARM asm is not

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[5]: It makes sense
by pgeorgi on Fri 20th May 2011 23:45 in reply to "RE[4]: It makes sense"
pgeorgi Member since:

assembly->C is hard

It's only hard if you want to get a higher level view of what's going on (ie. "decompile").

For mere translation it's easy: create a struct representing all registers, then replace "mov %eax, 0" with "registers.eax = 0" and so on. x86/ARM even shares endianess and register size (in the common configurations).

It will look ugly, it will be lots of "goto" statements, but a C compiler will happily create acceptable ARM assembly from that.

Reply Parent Score: 1