Intel revealed on Tuesday that Microsoft’s next-generation Windows tablet experience will run on Intel and ARM chips.
Speaking at an Intel investor meeting on Tuesday, Renee James explained that Windows 8 will be available in versions for both x86 and ARM. James revealed there will be a Windows 8 Traditional flavour that will run on Intel’s chips and handle legacy applications. Microsoft is also planning a Windows 7 mode as part of the traditional SKU. “[Windows 8 traditional] means that our customers, or anyone who has an Intel-based or an x86-based product, will be able to run either Windows 7 mode or Windows 8 mode,” she said to The Register. “They’ll run all of their old applications, all of their old files – there’ll be no issue.”
James also revealed that on ARM chips there will be a “new experience” geared around mobile computing and tablet devices. The ARM space will have no support for legacy applications, “Our competitors will not be running legacy applications. Not now. Not ever.” Intel claims that it’s also able to run the new Windows 8 experience. “We’ll kind of have the best of both worlds. So we think we’re extraordinarily well-positioned in Windows 8,” said James.
“We’ve been working for the last couple of years – very, very focused – on Windows 8,” she said. “I’m very excited about it. We’ve been working on it for a long time. There’s a lot of exciting new features and things about it that I think are going to be great for users, great for the PC and tablet industry.”
James’ comments were also mirrored in a Bloomberg report on Tuesday. Microsoft will create multiple versions of its next Windows operating system that work on ARM chips. WinRumors revealed a number of different Windows 8 ARM versions last month. Microsoft held a special press event at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January to introduce a technology preview of Microsoft’s Windows ARM support and show off an early build of Windows 8. The company is partnering with ARM-based manufactures NVIDIA, Qualcomm and Texas Instruments to produce new Tablet devices.
Microsoft is currently working on a Windows 8 “immersive” tablet user experience. However, the company may introduce Windows 8 ARM based tablets ahead of a full desktop release. Microsoft’s competitive tablet strategy is believed to be further along than expected. Dell’s recently leaked Tablet Roadmap revealed that the OEM has marked Q1 2012 as its date for a Windows 8 based slate.