The headline really should be "What Windows 8 and Windows on ARM mean to Microsoft and to you" but that didn't ring right to my ears. But it more aptly describes the train of this analysis.
Simply stated: Windows 8 is the riskiest release ever. Microsoft execs say they are "re-imagining" Windows. Believe them. But it's much more: Reinvention. If successful, Microsoft will be a very different company in five years, and that's as much about the future stock price and company valuation as market position and products. All depends on the risks delivering rewards.
Bill Gates has always said that Microsoft is a software company. I suggest that their core software focus should be on the operating system. And now that Steve Jobs is gone let’s just come out and say it: an insanely great operating system.
This post is about the technical foundation of what we call, for the purposes of this post, Windows on ARM, or WOA. WOA is a new member of the Windows family, much like Windows Server, Windows Embedded, or Windows Phone.
Microsoft revealed today that it plans to launch the highly anticipated "Consumer Preview" version of Windows 8 on February 29th. The company will hold an event at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona...
The software giant continues its march toward releasing its upcoming operating system, debuting a new logo that does away with the flaglike design of Windows past. Read this blog post by Jay Greene on Microsoft.
With Windows 8 now on a clearer path to release, expect the big device makers to try to crash the raucous Apple party with Microsoft leading the way. And who knows? Microsoft may even steer buyers away from a next-generation 9-inch Kindle Fire.
Windows 8 represents a huge departure for Microsoft. First, the platform is slated to run on both x86 processors for PCs, and on ARM chips for tablets. Second, it’s a single OS platform with two distinctly different user interfaces. You’ll be able to divide your time between the touch-optimized Metro, which borrows its look, feel and navigation from the Windows Phone OS, and a traditional Windows 7-like desktop experience.
On desktop PCs, this dual-interface approach shouldn’t be a problem. Metro doesn’t demand many resources. It should run on PCs just fine.
But there’s still a nagging question: How will legacy desktop applications run on ARM-based tablets, if they run on ARM at all? Desktop apps can be resource hogs, and ARM-based tablets may not have the horsepower to run these programs quickly and elegantly. Not only could application performance suffer, but desktop apps could also suck battery capacities dry.
Windows Phone 8, an update reportedly due when the Windows 8 launches, will bring with it the Windows 8 look and feel and app compatibility. Here's a look at some anticipated mobile features in Windows Phone 8 including NFC and SkyDrive integration.
Microsoft has previously mentioned that Windows 8 will have no problem running on computers that can already run the Windows 7 operating system but it looks like the company wants to be a bit stricter when it comes to tablets.
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