Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 2nd Dec 2011 18:41 UTC
Windows Windows 8 will have both the new Metro-style applications and user interface and the traditional Windows 7 desktop for legacy applications, which kind of runs like an application. Since legacy applications have to be recompiled to run on ARM anyway, it's always been a bit unclear if the ARM version of Windows 8 would include the legacy desktop at all - even Microsoft itself confirmed it wasn't sure yet. Microsoft bloggers Mary-Jo Foley and Paul Thurrot have fresh rumours that Microsoft has now made the decision to remove the legacy desktop from the ARM version.
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Hm
by WereCatf on Sat 3rd Dec 2011 03:56 UTC
WereCatf
Member since:
2006-02-15

Microsoft apparently does think there will never be ARM desktops and that it will only ever be used on low-cost servers, development boards of various kinds and mobile devices. As such their decision does make sense: most mobile devices are too limited anyways to really benefit from a full-blown desktop, so why go through the extra work to include it at all?

Personally though, I think that's quite short-sighted. While ARM is at the moment The Mobile Processor Architechture it doesn't mean that there will never be ARM desktops. Especially if Windows 8 ARM-version indeed did also sport a traditional desktop I could definitely see a good market-gap for ARM-based desktops; Windows just happens to be such a well-known OS and everyone -- even non-geeks -- are familiar with either Microsoft or Windows. Not to mention that I still think sooner or later someone will build a tablet-like device that you can just slap in a dock and the mouse, keyboard and a proper 20+ inch screen connected to it would come to life, transforming the tablet to a desktop.

Of course, nothing is stopping Microsoft from delivering the full desktop-environment to ARM Win8 in an update and I believe they'll eventually end up doing exactly that, whether they want to or not, but the problem is that not having it available from the get-go is going to limit its usefulness for gadget manufacturers and thus hamper early adoption. And since Win8 is a completely new player in ARM-field early adoption is inherently important and can make or break its future.

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