Intel SVP of Software and Services Renee James’ during May 18 Intel’s shareholders meeting this week in Santa Clara, California, pointed out that the next version of Windows vNext — popularly known as Windows 8 — will be available in versions for both x86 and ARM. There will be a “Windows 8 traditional”, she said, that will run on x86 chips and handle “legacy applications”, meaning existing x86-based Windows apps, and there will be a separate version of the OS that runs on ARM. Windows 8 traditional, she explained, will include a “Windows 7 mode”.
In shote, James told attendees that there will be multiple versions of Windows 8 — something that’s in line with Microsoft’s current multi-SKU Windows strategy. Microsoft will offer no less than four Windows 8 SoCs for ARM (support for SoCs from four manufacturers).
The “four Windows SOCs for ARM” don’t necessarily mean four different Windows 8 SKUs. It’s presumed that there will be an NVIDIA, Qualcomm, Texas Instruments and AMD (?) ARM systems-on-a-chip designs. Intel has an ARM license, but no plans to use it.
Windows 8 SoCs for ARM will not welcome apps and services build for different versions of the operating system. Furthermore, James notes that incompatibilities will exist even in terms of their own architectures.
This means that new Windows 8 SoCs for ARM willn’t be forward- or backward-compatible, even for the architectures from the same vendor, but belonging to different generations as they evolve.
James underlined that even with Windows 8 playing nice with SoC architectures, Intel will continue to hold the upper hand. The advantages touted are compatibility and legacy with Intel processors, neither of which are at the core of ARM offerings.
Instead, emerging ARM-based form factors will usher in new experiences for users which will obviously be focused around mobile scenarios involving devices such as Tablet PCs / slates.
Microsoft is still declining to comment on anything to do with Windows 8 or Windows Next that company officials have not said previously.
[Via: The Register,