NVIDIA CEO wants to see Windows 8 ARM soon, packed with Microsoft Office

By Tom Warren, on 21st Oct 11 6:47 am with 35 Comments

NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang at AsiaD

NVIDIA founder and CEO Jen-Hsun Huang has revealed he wants to see Windows 8 ARM tablets equipped with Microsoft Office.

Speaking during the All Things Digital AsiaD conference, Huang noted that Microsoft shouldn’t position Windows 8 ARM as a PC. He also urged Microsoft to bring out ARM tablets first before others. His comments follow reports from earlier this year that indicated Microsoft may be planning to release Windows 8 ARM tablets ahead of full desktop release. Engadget posted the full quote during a Q&A session:

“It’s important for [Microsoft] not to position these as PCs. From a finesse perspective — I can’t speak on their behalf — but I would come out with tablets first with Windows on ARM. It helps to establish that this isn’t a PC. Will yesterday’s Office run on tomorrow’s Windows on ARM PC? Will a new version of Office run on tomorrow’s Windows on ARM tablets? Both questions are about legacy, and both are about Office. The actual implementation of it is radically different. I see no reason to make Office 95 to run on Windows on ARM. I think it would be wonderful, absolutely wonderful — I’d say, as someone who uses Windows — it would be almost a requirement to me that [the ARM] device runs Windows interoperably. If Office runs on Windows on ARM — it’s the killer app. Everything else is on the web.”

Microsoft is currently preparing a Metro version of its Office suite. Screenshots leaked earlier this year that indicate Microsoft could be preparing a typical desktop user experience with touch friendly Metro style controls. Microsoft has not talked publicly about Office 15 yet but expected to reveal more details as Windows 8 approaches beta. Microsoft’s Office suite is a core productivity tool for consumers and businesses and the company is clearly taking a careful approach to Metro style Office.

Microsoft recently revealed that it plans to be clear in its product naming for Windows 8 ARM. Steven Sinofsky, chief of Windows and Windows Live, revealed at the company’s BUILD conference that the software giant is “going to be very clear with how we name the product, what we talk about as the features and value proposition.” Sinofsky said at the time that it’s “only to our advantage to not have confused customers.” He then went on to explain that Microsoft will not allow a world where a customer goes into a store and has to buy software in a red box for ARM and a green box for x86. “We won’t ever let that happen to a customer,” said Sinofsky. “We will be clear what the value proposition and what the software is capable and we’ll do that with all the communication tools at our disposal.”

Sinofsky was also forced to admit to financial analysts in September that typical x86 legacy desktop applications will not run on Windows 8 ARM. Sinofsky said the choice was to ensure the experience of battery life and other ARM benefits are fully supported in Windows 8. Microsoft also wants to shift ARM forwards to be Metro only and avoid some of the pitfalls of the x86 experience of Windows, viruses and malware. Sinofsky explained the decision to push Metro on ARM to media and analysts. “We haven’t made any product announcements,” said Sinofsky, referring to Microsoft’s desktop app demo of Office 2010 on Windows 8 ARM in January. “The previous demonstrations were always technology demonstrations of the underlying architecture,” he said. “All of the apps for ARM are going to come through the store which means they’re all going to be metro style.”

Image Credit: Asa Mathat | All Things Digital

  • Anonymous

    Jen-Hsun Huang, They say, he kinda looks like me. Lol

  • Anonymous

    This article is about to summon some jealous Android lovers! And they will most certainly begin their bash as usual, probably starting with me…

    • Tuxplorer

      LOL! Android is a joke of an OS. It’s fugly, insecure, slow and pathetic. Windows 8 is gorgeous, elegant, beautiful, productive and a joy to use.

    • Impartial


    • Test1ngi23

      “And that is a scientific fact!”

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Pedro-Roque/100000194503830 Pedro Roque

      Not even Android fans seem to be able to defend it on tablets…

    • Test1ngi23

      It’s hard to rebut against opinions that are extremely subjective. “fugly”, “slow” and “pathetic” are about as subjective as they get.

    • Anonymous

      Actually “slow” is pretty universal..  If it takes 2 minutes to open up a web page on a 500.00 android slate and only 2 seconds to open on my 250.00 netbook, wouldn’t that be enough to quantify the poor experience?

    • Seemingly Sentient
  • http://twitter.com/StefEBear Stefan R. G.

    Don’t we all want a Windows 8 Slate on ARM ASAP???

  • Little C

    Not at all a fan of Android, but there’s no denying that whether technically worthy of such a distinction or not, Android is outpacing all other platforms in the consumer space and well on its established dominance.

    And like it or not, despite Steve Job’s irrational bias against it and Sinofsky’s oafish attempts to mimic Jobs in every way, Flash will continue to thrive on Android as the dominant consumer platform.  They can spew all the anti-plugin and ‘battery concern’ nonsense they wish, but can’t control the marketplace.  The amount of Flash content on the web is nearly incalculable, web experiences created with it are unmatched, expect by those created via Silverlight, for as long as that lasts, and neither Apple or Microsoft will erase user dissatisfaction with attempting to access the best of the web, only to be told, “Sorry, not supported.”

    In the Redmond case, can’t actually imagine an individual less likely to succeed with all that lies ahead than Sinofsky.  Personally looking forward to what Microsoft will do, where it will go, once their version of Nero’s done playing the fiddle while Rome burns around him…

    • Anonymous

      You seem to forget that Android tablets dont sell at all, their numbers are laughable at best and there is no indication that will change anytime soon. OEMs will abandon Android as a tablet option the second Windows 8 releases. 

      Windows 8 will have a browser that makes Androids look like the joke that it is, its flash support is buggy and terrible at best. Android will begin its slow decline into obscurity over the next 2 years

    • TC

      No, I think that Little C’s analysis is far closer to correct.  Here’s why…

      Amazon’s Kindle Fire has already redefined the lower cost end of the tablet market spectrum.  No one’s going to compete with Amazon’s subsidized pricing model, that’s already clear, and Kindle Fire runs Android, which in turn, means that Flash will continue providing the best possible user experience at the low end of the spectrum.

      While the iPhone is being eclipsed by Android, the iPad has no competitors on the high end of the tablet spectrum, where the big money’s spent, and that’s not going to change.

      Microsoft, meanwhile, has no credibility and no mindshare within the consumer space, none beyond the XBox.  And despite Gartner having long since put its objectivity up for sale to the highest bidder, Windows Phone is going nowhere, at least with regard to providing Redmond a foothold in the minds of consumers.

      And therein is the problem – Windows 8 has nothing to offer the enterprise, where Microsoft still rules, and Apple-emulation in Redmond’s done nothing but alientate the developer community, and no actual chance of succeeding in the consumer space, especially given that other formidable players now have a lock on both ends of the spectrum.  This leaves, for Windows 8, no basis for gaining momentum in the tablet, none whatsover – it’ll be neither the bright shiny object dislodging the iPad nor the throwaway computing device at the bottom.

      Apple can move further down into the overall spectrum, while low cost Androd devices like the Kindle Fire can hope to move higher from the bottom, but that which is hardest of all to accomplish?  Gaining a foothold in the middle.  If it can be done, it won’t be Microsoft that pulls it off – no, Microsoft least of all.

      Windows 7 having been a success in the enterprise, Windows 8 has nothing left for it but surpassing Vista as an epic fail of historic proportions.

      So, yes, if one views Android’s prior tablet succcess from a myopic perspective of whether or not it can eclipse the iPad, it looks to be a failure, but taking that view is to miss the bigger picture.  Android isn’t dominating the phone market because it’s spectacular and licked ass against the iPhone – far from it.  Android is becoming dominant because the iPhone market, while considerable, worthwhile and entirely profitable, is limited, while Android devices are just good enough for the average consumer at a far lower price.  And that, in the end, is exactly the same effect we’ll see with regard to Android in the tablet market over time – with Microsoft inevitably left on the outside looking in…

      Why?  Because the world hasn’t changed so much that the old adage doesn’t still apply: “To dine with the classes, one must sell to the masses.”

    • Guest

      Guess they’d better give up right now then. LOL.

    • Anonymous

      Where did you make up all this crap?

      Windows 8 is more enterprise friendly than Windows 7.   Windows 8 on tablets will provide more enterprise functionality than any iPAD ever will.  Windows 8 on tablets also isn’t a race to the bottom to sell other services, its  a re-imagination of windows to fit on a tablet PC – a freaking PC – not  a device that is a glorified phone running apps that needs to be upgraded every year.

      Not to mention – everything that the android tablet can do, will be done on windows 8 tablets + all the PC functionality you’re used to today is preserved.

    • Lemmings Among Us

      Here’s hoping Byron’s enjoying that Kool-Aid with his ‘myopia’ - I don’t fully agree with TC, but can at least appreciate that there’s some worthwhile thought behind his opinion, that in stark contrast to what’s readily apparent, that neither Byron nor ‘fugly’ down below simply don’t rank among those who’ve long made a living as a technology analyst…

    • AlokC

      Have to admire your very nicely written post, but it’s so far from truth that it’s just nice to read!  You finish by saying “to dine with the classes, one must sell to the masses”.  For your reference, Win7 has sold 400+ million copies in less than 2 years, which I guess is the highest any OS has ever sold. The projection — not from Gartner / IDC — is that Win8 will sell that much in about 1 year after its release.  You might not want to accept, but the interest in Windows is somewhat understandable when 500K+ downloads of Win8 preview build happens within 24 hours.  You will be amazed by the number of people who will run Win8 beta within 1 month of its release.

      The assumption about Windows Phones is a good dream for Apple and Google worshipers.  WP7 is the freshest and most innovative smartphone OS available for all OEMs, who do not have to be afraid of being sued.  It’s helping create high-end phones like HTC Titan as well as low-end phones from ZTE and the like.  HTC and Samsung are the major players in Android’s success, but they have enough to gain from WP too. Why would they not utilize that opportunity? Also, if any smartphone has the capability to dislodge Blackberry from the enterprise, it’s WP7/8.

      Who says MS developers are disgruntled / not-interested or whatever? I know a ton of people who are already working on the latest technologies being previewed by MS now and to be released in 2012.

      The anit-MS camp seems talk from both side of the mouth.  On one side they say the Windows as the client OS doesn’t matter any more, because web is the OS, and companies like Google owns / will own it via Chromebook (what happened to that one?). If that is the case, HTML5-based apps will make the 500K+ iOSapps and 200K+ Android apps not-so-important, right?  But the other side of the mouth keeps repeating those 500K and 200K number to say WP7 has just 30K apps, and hence it has no chance of success.  I can accept one of those reasoning — any of those two might be true, but not both of those used as suited to say Windows is dead and WP will not succeed. That’s plain hypocrisy.

      For your reference, Boston Consulting Group has released a survey result, where 42% of the participants expect to use a Win8-based tablet, compared to 26% for iPad and about 20% for Android.  Yes, Amazon Fire will make Android-based tablets spread a lot more, because it makes those affordable to the masses.  But have you thought where that would leave the Samsungs, HTCs, Sonys, who plan to make money from those? They have only one other tablet OS choice — Win8.

      Microsoft has been pronounced dead a number of times before — in the battle against IBM with OS/2, against Novell with Netware, against Lotus / IBM in email / collaboration, and so on.  We all have the results in hand to refer to. There have been a lull of nearly 10 years, not sure why, but it has been a bad decade for Microsoft, just like Apple’s late-80s to mid-90s or IBM’s early-90s. With the line up of Win8 client, Win8 server, WP8, SQL Server 2012, Office 15 / 2012, Visual Studio 2012, Silverlight 5, .NET 5, Azure, and a whole bunch of other product and service releases, there has rarely been a time to be more excited (and nervous for competitors) about Microsoft than now.

    • Seemingly Sentient

      Don’t usually bother with reader comments regarding anything about which most reply as if unable to differentiate between their own emotional bias and phony intellectualism (politics, religion, technology, etc), but your analysis is quite interesting and has merit  – surprisingly enough, read what you’d written just after coming across the following:



  • http://twitter.com/Rocklee99 Austin Agli

    hmm…i used to really like android…i actually had trouble deciding between windows phone 7 and android and went with android…its okay though, WP7 was missing a few things in the OS, but its okay, come Apollo, i think i know what my next OS and phone will be :)

  • http://twitter.com/oolong2 oolong2

    Microsoft SHOULD sell Windows ARM tabkets as “PCs”

    However they need to  re-define what a “PC” is. in the minds of the public…   Defining what a PC is and what “Windows” can do it has far better consequences than simply saying “Hey we have something like an iPad too!”

    If they make it about ”Microsoft iPad” vs. an “Apple iPad”.  Then that’s a battle they will lose.  However if the iPad is a “mobile PC” and Microsoft can create a much better “mobile PC” with better value and feeatures.  Then they won’t be betting the enture company on the results of a single device but rather pulling on the ENTIRE history of Microsoft’s expertise with PCs.

    Steve Jobs played a nice trick on eveyone by calling it the “post PC era”, because by doing that he was able to brand what is basically a limited PC into something “magical”.   Microsoft needs to shift the focus back to “personal computing” and what that means.

    • Anonymous


      Microsoft is bringing so much more to the tablet with Windows 8, it isn’t even fun.  Post PC era my ass, its now post “there is an app for that”.  Its “There is a platform for that  and it will run on your Phone, TV, Console, PC, Tablet and Slate and oh yeah, it still runs all that old shit” :)

  • Guest

    he’s right. MS should release the ARM units earlier. They can’t afford to wait another year.

  • notePAD

    Windows 8, not for PCs?  Strange imho

  • Anonymous

    Windows 8 feature list
    It’s much more more then the Metro UI. Enterprises will love it.

    • Megalithic

      Utter nonsense – my head’s still pounding from overexposure to all the reasons the ‘enterprise’ would love Vista.  Not…

    • Anonymous

      I guess you didn’t bother to READ the feature list. Typical MSFT-hater. You know what you hate and you hate.

    • Megalithic

      Nice assumption, but entirely incorrect, as I’m far more connected with Redmond than you could possibly imagine. 

      Is this atypical for you or a regular pattern, dismissing those with dissenting opinions with a simple wave of the hand and use of the word, ‘hate’?

      What I dislike, my friend, is the both degree to which Microsoft has lost its way, foolishly attempting to emulate Apple, and continues to poison its developer community, repeatedly treating with contempt that about which the vast majority members are unusually (and finally) passionate.

    • Anonymous

      Megalithic – once again you failed to address the comprehensive feature list of things not about Metro UI, then you engage in generalizations about copying Apple and “poisoning” the developer community. Give me one example of how MSFT has treated developers with contempt lately.

    • Megalithic

      You’re kidding, right?  You’re not actually unaware of the massive upheaval that’s taken place within corporate America as a result of Microsoft’s irrational shift toward Apple-induced secrecy, are you? 

      While the games Apple plays in that regard may have little impact within the consumer space, the same approach has alrready had catastrophic effects within the enterprise, where, as you should already be well aware, the abundant uncertainty resulted, after years of Redmond pushing investment in WPF and Silverlight, for example, in a great many people getting hurt, whole projects outright cancelled and jobs lost, all in midst of the worst economic morass of a lifetime.

      You’re not seriously unaware of the Silverlight discussion groups having been abruptly shutdown, this after days and days of being so overwhelmingly and relentlessly hammered, all because Redmond did nothing to refute evidence that Silverlight, like WPF before it, is dead?  Did nothing short of firing those individuals who leaked, from the inside, that the Silverlight and WPF teams had been dismantled?

      Five amazing releases in just a few short years, Silverlight ascendant in ways Microsoft had not once ever achieved in all it’s existence, millions of dollars of corporate investment all treated as insignificant because Microsoft deemed it acceptable to respond to those being crucified over whether Silverlight was dead or not with the equivalent of, “Can’t say.  See ya at Build in September…”

      You wanted an example, ArrowSmith, well, there you go – just one – and tell me this, ArrowSmith, how many projects did you see cancelled, how many talented people for which you were personally responsible got hurt, how many times did you sit, and literally in tears, axe people with families during awful economic times because corporate America simply will not tolerate uncertainty with regard to Redmond – there’s simply too much at stake.

      So, there you go – I got hammered.  A lot of people got hammered.  And cried. literally cried, over every talented person I sent out into an awful job market simply because Redmond cast us aside and acted like it was nothing.

      Go ahead, tell me that you’ve done the same…

    • Anonymous

      Take a look here:



      As Microsoft’s regional director, Scott Cate, points out so succinctly in a simple screen cast, Internet Explorer 10 in Metro doesn’t support any form of plug-in by design. But, as Telerik’s executive vice president Doug Seven points out, that doesn’t mean that developers with Silverlight skills should worry, because Silverlight will continue to be fully supported in desktop mode, and developers who have paid the price to understand Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) will be richly rewarded with the ability to create native Metro apps using their WPF skills.

      So your assertions that Silverlight & WPF has been scrapped are lies or paranoia. So for those doing WPF apps on Windows 7, they will continue on that platform for quite a while and then leverage those skills to port their apps to Windows 8 Metro. No big deal in the end and developers get to learn new things.

    • Appalling

      Shocking the degree to which you missed the dude’s entire point and downright embarrasing that you’d make matters worse, posting links to jive from one Microsoft mouthpiece or another.  I could just as easily inundate you with links to, say, www.riagenic.com, where a former Silverlight product manager painstakingly details all that went wrong on the inside.  Megalith’s point, since you seem to have missed it, was that the damage’s already been done – projects cancelled, people having lost their jobs, people getting hurt all because Microsoft betrayed corporate trust.   You can post all the links you want, but that you can’t relate to what another developer’s experienced is just nothing short of sad..

    • Anonymous

      What’s the problem – why did they cancel their Silverlight development? It’s still supported on IE9 and most of the world is not going to shift to Windows 8 any time soon. They could have used the time from now until then to figure out how to create Metro apps instead of firing their whole staffs out of spite.

    • AlokC

      I find it laughable when someone claims that a bunch of *good* developers were laid off because MS stopped work on WPF / SL / anything else.  We are still developing products using WPF.  What stops us from that?  I manage a mid-size software shop.  I know very well how hard it is to find a *good* developer, and I am not going to let go of any of them just because we’ll not do any SL / WPF (or any specific technology work).  You mean to say these devs know nothing other than WPF / SL, and hence otherwise useless?  Which company plans to develop a product only for SL and then drops the entire project because SL will not go ahead?  When I architect a solution, I do it based on the available technologies (at least a beta version being available), not some vaporware of what “might” happen in the future.  If my architecture is based on existing stuff, why would I depend on what MS (or any other tech vendor) provides in the future?  How would you even know what any tech vendor will do in the future and shape your solutions accordingly?
      If it was about some hardware company, who designs specific hardware and expects driver support for it in Windows, and then MS ditches them (I know about those in the past, very closely), they might be burnt and pissed off.  But for software vendors crying about some technology development being stopped?  That’s ridiculous at best, and most likely a bad story being spread to scare off people.  Even if MS stops work on SL / WPF, can they stop me from building any app I want based on the released versions of those technologies (i.e., SL4)?  The answer is “NO”, and MS has one of the best track records of providing continued support for any previously released technology. Hence, if any SL4-based app is written today, it will keep running for coming 5-10 years.
      So, the whole story above is just meaningless.

    • Seriously?

      AloKC – you in turn make me laugh, as your views are clearly the result of lacking experience.  As you indicate, it seems to be limited to a mid-sized development shop where you’ve been protected from the harsher realities of dealing with the big boys, like those that dominate in the financial sector, healthcare and eDiscovery.  You’re unaware, apparently, that when setting out to develop a next-generation patient monitoring system in the healthcare arena, for example, very meticulous efforts going into technology decisions because FDC approval of such systems can take upwards of four or five years after the development’s actually been completed  In those cases, individuals far beyond your experience need embrace technologies that lie at the cutting edge – because they won’t be once FDA approval’s finally achieved.

      Perhaps difficult for some to fully comprehend, but launch such an effort back when Microsoft show every sign of preparing to rule the world via Silverlight, get 2-3 years in, millions of dollars already spent, find less-than-tech-savvy executives pissing their pants in your office because they’ve just heard Silverlight’s dead, their typically massive annual bonuses in jeopardy, Redmond responds with nthing more than, “No comment.” - and damn right, people get hurt.

      Here’s hoping you continue avoiding such levels of accountibility and the harsher realities of this business… 

    • Guest

      You sound a lot like Barnes.