Could Windows be heading to ARM-based tablets and handhelds? Bloomberg claims Microsoft will demonstrate a full-featured version of Windows that runs on ARM at next month's CES conference in Las Vegas.
The new product will debut at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, said the people, who asked not to be identified because Microsoft’s plans are confidential. The software would be tailored for battery-powered devices, such as tablet computers and other handhelds, the people said.
The operating system would give Microsoft another way to attack the market for tablets and phones, where it’s lost ground to Apple Inc. and Google Inc. 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.
Interestingly, a report by Wall Street Journal seems to suggest that this new version of Windows will be compatible with both ARM and x86-based chips:
The company next month plans to demonstrate a new version of its widely used Windows operating system that targets low-power devices and adds support for chips based on designs from ARM Holdings PLC as well as the x86 chip technology offered by Intel and Advanced Micro Devices Inc., these people said. Microsoft will discuss the software at the Consumer Electronics Show in early January, though it isn't expected to be available for two years, they added.
It is believed the version will retain backwards compatibility with the x86 architecture of Intel but the ability to run on cores from ARM (Cambridge England) sent the IP licensor's share price soaring. It was trading at 438 pence on the London Stock Exchange at 10.00am up 8.5 percent on the day.