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Why I care about what Windows 8 runs on

I know the piece I wrote recently for TechRadar - Will Windows 8 run on ARM processors - is rampant speculation. I get the politest, friendliest "nothing I would say right now" no comment replies when I ask about this and yet I called out a comment from a member of the Windows Phone team talking about the potential for 'big Windows' to get some of the advantages of Windows Phone, like running on the smartphone silicon of choice. That kind of comment is well outside of Charlie Kindel's area - and the ideas of the Windows Phone team about cross fertilisation with Windows are likely to be pretty different from the plans of the Windows team.

But I think the question of pieces of Windows moving beyond the traditional x86 platform through the phone and the TV and the cloud and all the other devices and form factors is a very important piece of the future, especially in light of the iPad, and the confirmation from Intel that Android scales up from ARM to Atom  making at least two platforms that scale from phone to netbook and beyond). I think it's why Courier gets so much interest (beyond the fact that it just looks so cool, the way concept videos do). I like my PC and I'd like more of what I can do there to work on other devices without a lashup of manual syncing and connecting. I think that as Intel pushes Atom towards other platforms, Windows needs to push across to other devices in more ways than just Windows Live services (Hotmail and Messenger do not a Windows platform make). Every time I hear Mark Russinovich talk about how much abstraction is going down to the lowest levels of the Windows kernel, I hear that it's for making it easier to update Windows while maintaining compatibility - but I speculate about how that could unlock Windows from the Intel strangelhold.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
19th Apr, 2010 17:47 (UTC)
I've been asking this for a while now and getting firm "no"s.

The non-Intel/AMD processor manufacturers have been after this for a LONG time, it would be interesting to see if they're working on it.

The typical complaint I'd hear a year ago is they couldn't manage the cross-compiling without causing too many problems.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )


full steam ahead
Mary Branscombe
Simon & Mary

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