Next Windows to Run on ARM, Too

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Brothered

Microsoft is ditching Intell? Really? Wow I guess Intel would be broken hearted if they and every other hardware manufacturer were not already in bed with their very own Penquen, and have been for about TEN YEARS. Sure Microsoft is the cash rich old fart that is so dependable but every one knows what really turns Intel on and it is the new blood in Silicon Vally or Redmond or anywhere else, called Tux. This is made obvious by all of those neatly placed brand names at the end of your article. Like Android, Google TV, Chrome, Meego and anything by Windriver. Your headline is news to only the predictable crowd.

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Peanut Fox

I wonder if in the future this will mean that Windows Phone 7 will be integrated into Windows development. 

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mikeatlarge

Not sure what you mean by "integrated"? They're already integrated in terms of the toolchain--Visual Studio is used for both Win7 and WP7 development. But deep down inside WP7 is more or less a WinCE kernel not the NT-based kernel running Win7. So, at least for now, even with Windows on ARM, they would remain two different code-bases.

I don't see MS moving WP7 to be Win7 or Win8 based anytime soon but it will be interesting to see how they differentiate the products--it might end up that Windows ARM will be the Android Honeycomb for bigger screens. And WP7 will be the regular Android for smaller devices.

There are rumours of some cool integration of WP7 into Win8--for example your phone's screen can be one of multiple desktops within Win8. That's the sort of functionality where Microsoft can go far as they still own ~90% of the desktop market. It's also something Apple and Google don't have (yet at least).

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ShyLinuxGuy

ARM as it is today (and probably for some time to come) is really only good for "lightweight" computing. I really hope people and companies alike don't get the concept that ARM is a viable alternative to x86.

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mikeatlarge

What's wrong with alternatives? Don't under estimate ARM. They already have devices that rival many of the Atom processors when running similar applications and ARM is a freight train with LOTS of critical mass. Vastly more ARM processors are shipped every year than all of Intel and AMD combined.

The iPad uses an ARM Cortex A4 processor which isn't even the most powerful in the ARM lineup and it manages to offer suprisingly good performance. And Microsoft is clearly getting better at making Windows run reasonably well on lower powered processors (I'm pretty happy with my Win7 Atom netbook). And ARMs are only getting faster.

Lots of people just need basic apps, cloud access, etc. and they don't need (and many don't want) an "old school" PC that literally burns through $200 worth of electricity a year. So when you put all that together, I could easily see some very viable fanless, silent, super thin, ultra-green ARM-based Windows desktops that would totally meet the needs of a huge number of PC users.

Nobody is saying Microsoft is going to abandon x86. ARM doesn't have anything remotely close to say Sandy Bridge. But, face it, fewer and fewer people actually *need* that kind of CPU power.

I have to laugh. People used to criticize Microsoft for releasing ever slower and more bloated operating systems and applications that required the latest hardware to perform reasonably well. Now they're going the opposite direction and making their stuff run well on (literally) $10 super efficient processors and that's causing concern?

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chronium

Well Nvidia is working on a desktop ARM CPU so it very well might end up being a viable solution in the future.

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