Has Microsoft blown Windows 8 on ARM?

29 Feb 2012

The shock announcement this afternoon, in the Windows 8 Consumer Preview Product Guide for Business document, is as follows:

"ARM-based tablets running Windows 8 are ideal for workers who are constantly on the go and need a long-lasting battery. ARM-based tablets use less power than 32-bit and 64-bit devices and workers can rely on the extended uptime of these devices. Although the ARM- based version of Windows does not include the same manageability features that are in 32-bit and 64-bit versions, businesses can use these power-saving devices in unmanaged environments."

Unmanaged environments? That means no Active Directory policy integration. No System Center integration. All the things that sysadmins have been waiting for, longing for, from Microsoft with the ARM version of Windows 8 are just not going to be there. Period. End of.

This is a hugely big deal. The one thing that sysadmins have been holding off deploying iPads for has gone missing in action.

So now the choice is simple for the sysadmin. He can choose Windows 8 on ARM, with no policy control, no app base, and a platform that is starting from zero, with no market share and no existing, experienced developer base for that platform. Or he can choose iPad. This too has no direct policy control, but has a huge app base, a desirable and proven platform, a rich development skills base, and market share that dominates everything else by far.

Now your sales director is hammering on the door wanting tablets for field workers, sales engineers, people in the warehouse. You Great Hope has just gone down the plughole. You sigh, pick up the phone, and call that iPad development firm you had scoped out.

Microsoft - how could you be so STUPID?

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