Windows 8 ARM notebooks expected to debut in mid-2013

By Tom Warren, on 29th Nov 11 12:45 pm with 32 Comments

Windows 8 ARM tablets

Windows 8 ARM-powered notebooks will debut in mid-2013, according to reports.

Microsoft is currently preparing its first beta copy of Windows 8, expected at CES, and computer manufacturers far and wide are testing their latest and greatest hardware. Microsoft has discussed its Windows 8 ARM plans previously but most of the focus has been on tablet form factors with ARM. DigiTimes reported on Tuesday that Windows 8-powered notebooks will debut in the middle of 2013. NVIDIA and Qualcomm have both been reportedly enhancing their ARM-based processor consumption and performance, geared towards notebooks.

Microsoft has previously revealed that any applications for ARM will be supplied through the Windows Store. Speaking during a press briefing earlier this year, Windows chief Steven Sinofsky explained the decision to go Metro only on ARM. “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.”

The debut of Windows 8 ARM notebooks in the middle of 2013, if accurate, appears to be a careful approach to a new market. ARM processors will not support the traditional desktop x86 apps and Microsoft is pushing software developers to buy into Metro for cross platform compatibility. Windows 8 is expected to debut in late 2012, giving software developers around six months to create an array of Metro applications for the final version of Windows 8, until ARM notebooks hit the market.

  • http://circuitsoft.tumblr.com CircuitSoft

    First and Microsoft should not do this I want my ARM tablets now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Thomas Bundgaard

      This only concerns the laptops. Tablets should still be out by next summer.

    • Anonymous

      Phew, thank goodness for that. I should read more closely!

  • http://twitter.com/LachlanCMcLeod Lachlan C McLeod

    Well I was so excited..  I guess they have to atleast wait till the new Microsoft Office is out in full metro style or it would be kinda pointless for them to sell a laptop if there was no fully functional office software available for them to sell with it.

  • http://twitter.com/OldCongress Gamer

    Hey Tom, is that a mistake?
    I doubt Intel will ever support ARM.

    • Anonymous

      @Gamer, Wasn’t it Microsoft that was working with Intel on a prototype 12-core ARM processor for servers?

    • Guest

      I think you mean Atom, not ARM.

    • Anonymous

      who says these are intel netbooks? I expect to see intel’s x86 SOC runing windows 8 long before these things show up, if at all. ARM just isn’t a powerful platform to rival x86 in productivity apps. In particular, all the special extensions that x86 has for multimedia and content production go squarely against what ARM is doing.

  • http://doctorwhofan98.wordpress.com/ doctorwhofan98

    Why can’t Windows 8 debut today?! How is anyone expected to wait a year for such an amazing new OS?

    • Jinge

      Just because you don’t want a new w95/98/2000 buggy version anymore, so you have to wait for it to be well finished. Long term strategy: regain the image of a stable and well finished product. A long way to a new microsoft, and that is not so bad! People don’t want to pay to update their systems every year anyway!

    • Anonymous

      For people like us who want the future now, MS has been gracious enough to release developer previews and betas.  It’s the best approach as we technical people get to play around with it now while the general population waits until it is complete and stable.

    • Anonymous

      vista was probably not ready for prime time. do we want to see a repeat of that?

  • Chinonso

    Well then evidently windows 8 for x86 processors is just so good that they can afford to stall ARM for another year. and given the fact that intel’s sandy bridge and Amd’s Amu processors which are geard at low power and high efficency computing, i guess i can wait.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3OIDXOI5OEMTX6Z3O5YUBFSISA Diego3336

    Microsoft is waiting to Android gain traction as the 2nd OS for tablets so they can play catch-up in a segment where they are pioneers, again…

    • Anonymous

      Read the headline a little closer.  This is about ARM notebooks.

    • Anonymous

      android doesn’t run on netbooks and android tablets aren’t really selling well. Win8 arm tablets will hit the market a year before these netbooks, although by them, intels SOC architectures will be on par with ARM as far as power usage goes with none of the app compatibility issues.

  • http://www.mainstreetchatham.com/ JimmyFal

    That was a strange demo last year of ARM running legacy apps. Things change so swiftly in this game. I would think it’s especially hard to keep up. I will be happy, REALLY happy if I can get Win8 beta onto any touch device with a keyboard in an ultrabook format by this time next year. I’d be happy to get it onto my Titan!

  • Anonymous

    With Ivy Bridge coming out I honestly have no idea why anyone would want an ARM notebook.  You already have battery life hitting 9-10 hours, and that’s with Sandy Bridge.  Screw ARM, I’m sticking with x86!  Metro apps are cool and all, but I want access to desktop apps as well, especially if we are talking notebook form factor.

    • Anonymous

      I have one question about Intel’s latest and greatest: Will tablets with Ivy Bridge still need a fan for proper heat distribution? or will Ivy Bridge CPUs run cool enough that fans will not be necessary?

      Does anybody know the answer about Ivy Bridge and fans/cooling?

      If they do then I will without a doubt be sticking to ARM for my tablet!

    • Anonymous

      I don’t think there are any fanless sandy bridge designs yet.  As for ivy bridge, I honestly don’t know.  I’m sure though by the time Haswell comes out in 2013 and halves the power requirements, we will see fanless designs.  If you choose ARM for fanless that is your personal preference, but I don’t want to give up access to the massive amount of x86 programs available.

    • Guest
    • Chinonso

      What are u talking about, Mac book Air uses intel sandy and so those the Asus zen book(windows), toshiba portege(windows) and the Lenovo think pad X1(windows). what do all these 3 windows laptops have in common, well they were designed to take on the Mac book Air and as a result, they are very thin and have no fans, and come with the same hardware specs as the Mac book Air. and some better.

    • Guest

      Price is about the only reason I can think of. And Intel could negate that if they got more aggressive.

  • Anonymous

    I think they are waiting for ARM to improve performance of their SOC. 

    Who is going to buy a notebook based in ARM SOCs with Windows 8 if Cedar Trail (ATOM) will be faster and have almost the same battery endurance?

    • Anonymous

      I think if intel’s SOC is as good as intel hopes then we may never see these. I think MSFT doesn’t want ARM to be the de-facto platform of the future given it is lightyeras behind x86 in terms of performance and will certainly hold back the industry.

  • http://twitter.com/rd3d Ian Walker

    Looks like they can get existing form factor tablets with Intel – th ARM stuff is going to be thinner and lighter than the current crop.  Exciting times.

  • Anonymous

    I saw a prototype ARM tablet from HP that was very cool.  It had a connector that could be used as a dock for office workers or for a battery expansion.  This looked nothing like the TouchPad.  Their release is late spring of 2012.

    • Guest

      Was it running W7 or W8?

    • Anonymous

      It was ARM based, so Win8.

  • Anonymous

    ARM notebooks means ARM tablets. June 2012. Wait and see. 

  • http://twitter.com/AustinWilkes Austin Wilkes

    It seems the x86 – ARM convergence that has been discussed for years (Intel scaling down power/ARM scaling up performance) will truly happen about Mid 2013. Next year’s Clover Trail and Medfield Intell processors will be good but I still am not convinced in how well they can compete against Quad core ARM in Android/Win8 tablets. I assume that the Clover Trail and Medfield successors will be coming out around the same time as ARM laptops which should make things quite interesting..

  • http://twitter.com/AustinWilkes Austin Wilkes

    It seems the x86 – ARM convergence that has been discussed for years (Intel scaling down power/ARM scaling up performance) will truly happen about Mid 2013. Next year’s Clover Trail and Medfield Intell processors will be good but I still am not convinced in how well they can compete against Quad core ARM in Android/Win8 tablets. I assume that the Clover Trail and Medfield successors will be coming out around the same time as ARM laptops which should make things quite interesting..