ARM sees next-generation Windows inside TVs and cars

By Tom Warren, on 30th May 11 3:52 pm with 22 Comments

ARM believes Microsoft’s adoption of its chips will see Windows expand into cars and TVs.

Microsoft revealed its plans for Windows ARM support in January. Windows chief, Steven Sinofsky, took to the stage at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to introduce a technology preview of Microsoft’s Windows ARM support and show off an early build of Windows 8. Microsoft is partnering with ARM-based manufactures NVIDIA, Qualcomm and Texas Instruments to produce new Tablet devices. Sinofsky will demonstrate a fresh technology preview on Wednesday at the All Things Digital Conference D9. Microsoft is expected to show its Tablet UI on an NVIDIA tegra chip.

Microsoft’s next-generation Windows software will take full advantage of the latest ARM based chips. ARM president Tudor Brown believes the move will help ARM gain market share on rival Intel. “Where it gets potentially game-changing is, what other opportunities does it open up for Microsoft,” Brown said in an interview with Bloomberg’s Business Week. “This opens up a much bigger market, and makes a valid and viable operating system for” TVs and automotive electronics, he said.

The move could see Microsoft unify its tablet user interface onto smaller form factors in cars and larger screen estates like TVs. The company has long used Media Center and Xbox across large screens, both take pages from Microsoft’s Metro design style. Keeping Metro across all of Microsoft’s properties is clearly a key element going forward for Microsoft. The software giant has executed with Windows Phone and next-generation Windows and Office are next on the list.

Windows ARM on TV concept

Image Credit: Zune Media Center 2.5 concept (deviantART)

  • Travis Brown

    Microsoft surely has a well thought-out game plan going ahead. Can’t wait to see what Windows 8 has in store in terms of the devices it will support and the features that separate it from Windows 7.

    • oolong2

      I’ve been saying it all along…   Windows 8 on ARM is a BIG DEAL and opens up all sorts of possibilities that people simply can’t imagine right now.

      Blogs are so fixated on the iPad and how Microsoft can compete with it and the flavor of the week that they are completely missing the big picture…

      You have a full OS, optimized for next generation multi-touch, next generation stylis input, Kinect features, multiple inputs and support for hundreds of thousands of perpherals, multiple screeen configurations.   Then you combine this with ARM and you have  ultimate OS/Software flexability combined with ultimate form factor flexability.

      What vendors and consumers will end up doing with this OS will just blow away anything that is currently being done with Android/iOS.

    • Anonymous

      THANK YOU!!!  You are one of the few that have started to put together the pieces and recognize what is potentially the biggest game changer that has come out of Microsoft this century.  Granted it IS still potential.  BUT it is amazing to see something like this come together.

      I wonder what role the next MS game console (rumored to be a 2013-2014 product) will play in this grand scheme …

  • Andrew Rackow

    It would be nice if they had one common OS underpinning to rule them all. if they had a scalable and customizable interface they could make a huge play into the space.

    • Mark

      People have been telling them that for a decade, but they still haven’t made much progress towards it.

    • Anonymous

      Maybe Windows 8 will change that?

    • Abhimanyu Jamwal

      they were abused by almost all of the tech world because they worked on to become the no1 company in the tech and the one that could at one stage be so big that it could control the whole industry…….so here we have a company that is no.1 but is considered as the “under-dog”

    • Anonymous

      That’s what they’re planning with Windows 8 isn’t it? Windows Phone 8 is going to have the same core as Windows 8 Desktop and Tablet.

      Personally I don’t want to have a PC built into my TV simply because PCs have a much shorter life span. But I would like the TV-companies to team up with some computer chassis company and create a standardized plug-in system where you can buy a chassis and build a HTPC (or buy a complete HTPC) and simply snap it on to the TV with HDMI, power and network and you’re good to go.

      I’d also love it if Microsoft, could work with the mobile phone manufacturers and create an open standard for a docking connector on the bottom on the and for Microsoft to add a docked UI like on the Zune HD like someone mentioned below here.

  • Gutemberg

    We want windows8 arm to be released soon as possible, so our car device will be made on top of it.

  • Anonymous

    The concept looks pretty and well designed for use on television screens. The Metro look is already partially used in the Xbox Dashboard, and that’s not a bad thing.

    • hynchrstn

      Why not try Zune HD AV-Dock UI

  • Ronit Kumar

    This will open new revenue sources for microsoft, now this along with the new Hotmail, the new WP7 ( Mango ), the new Sky Drive Update, the Skype Integration, Win 8 on tablets and PCs, Bing seach and maps. You can imagine making Skype calls from Cars and TVs too! 

    I think Microsoft should partner Zune with MySpace. This will give Zune a new Social Dimension and a large user-base of music lovers. Zune can make use of Myspace as Bing of Yahoo! that would really be a super hit amongst emerging artists and music lovers!

    • Spindel

      MySpace? You mean Facebook?

    • Ronit Kumar

      Nope! I mean MySpace! If you are on myspace you would no that for music related stuff, its still the best social networking site! Though it has been falling, its still more popular than Zune ( at-least in Asia)
      Though it has recently been redesigned, but it still lacks a punch, I see Zune and MySpace complimenting each other! Currently, Zune is an excellent music service and MySpace is an excellent social networking site for music lovers, but if they want to tumble iTunes, they need a competitive edge, and I see MySpace fitting the bil!

    • Eingoluq

      I prefer zune to tap into IMO its got better potential

    • Anonymous

      Anyone who partners with MySpace is going to be the laughing stock of the tech world ;)

      Facebook recently partnered with Spotify though, that would’ve been a great deal for MS and Facebook, especially because Zune has the ability to stream music from and don’t need an application for that.

    • WixosTrix

      I think the same thing.  The relationship Microsoft and Facebook has makes it seem like a no brainer.  Have Zune be the backend for Facebook’s music services.  Everybody listens to music, everybody is on Facebook how is this not happening?

      But then again, if that happened Zune would probably get very popular and I have the feeling Microsoft is still holding the flood gates a bit.  I’ve always thought they purposely held back Zune and I think they are doing the same to Windows Phone 7.  It isn’t ready huge popularity, not until Mango in the case of WP7. 

  • Jimmy Fallon

    When it all ties together nicely, when we are not confused by Media Center, Media Player, Zune, and why there are 3 instead of one, when the Pad is and offshoot of the pc and the phone, and when it is half the price of the other guy, then the calls for Ballmers head will be faint echoes heard in the distance. We are coming along quite nicely this underdog tortoise called Microsoft. Anyone who thinks MS has no vision, needs glasses.

    • Anonymous

      I think we’ll be hearing calls for Sinofsky to take over as CEO when that happens ;)

    • Anonymous

      “…confused by Media Center, Media Player, Zune”

      I’ve heard Thurrott say that. Why doesn’t he complain that Mac users are confused by Front Row, Quicktime player and iTunes? People criticize MS for the silliest things.

    • dagamer34

      It’s really more Media Player and Zune as there is so much overlap there, it’s not even funny. WMP really should be taken out as a default install and have Zune replace it (maybe with some rebranding as well). I also think that Windows Media Center should be more like on the Xbox 360 where Zune is integrated, letting you buy and rent movies from an HTPC.

      All a pipe dream.

    • Johncarp1

      I think it is more than that.   I am a big Zune user.  I have a windows home server with all of my music on it.  The Zune Playlists and DRM does not play nice with the Media Center software on my TV.  I am 100% Microsoft and have trouble getting things to work.   I would love for Microsoft to have a real clear message on the TV strategy.  Kill the other stuff and move on.   On my TV I would like to watch TV, Play Music, stream movies, play games and have my photo’s play when I am listing to music or if there is nothing else being watched.

      Should I be doing that through Xbox or a Media Center PC?  If it is the xbox, I wonder why they have not just licensed the software to TV set makers and have them build the Xbox into the TV’s?