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