Bloomberg reports that Microsoft will announce at the upcoming CES a version of Windows that will work on ARM. The software would be tailored for battery-powered devices, such as tablet computers and other handhelds, said the people, who asked not to be identified because Microsoft’s plans are confidential.
The operating system would give Microsoft another way to attack the market for tablets and phones, where it’s lost ground to Apple and Google ARM chips — made by Qualcomm Inc., Texas Instruments Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. — are used in most smartphones, as well as Apple’s best-selling iPad.
The new software also will be able to work on Intel and AMD processors — the chips that power PC versions of Windows. While other versions of Microsoft software aimed at phones and mobile devices work on ARM chips, this’s the first time it’l make a full version of Windows available on that technology.
A full-featured version of Windows for ARM chips is the best way for Microsoft to make a dent in the iPad’s lead, said Robert Breza, a Minneapolis-based analyst for RBC Capital Markets. While Windows is dominant in the personal-computer market, it hasn’t parlayed that into tablet success yet.