Microsoft: Windows on ARM won't be sold separately
By Stewart Mitchell
Posted on 10 Feb 2012 at 11:23
Windows 8 for ARM will be a separate operating system from the x86/64 version of the OS, Microsoft has revealed.
With a focus on mobile devices and the growing tablet market, Microsoft said the ARM version would be designed to work on different hardware in an OS fork that resembles the split between Apple's iOS for mobile products and OS X for PCs.
"We do want to assure you that, when a consumer buys a WOA PC, it will be clearly labeled and branded so as to avoid potential confusion with Windows 8 on x86/64," Steven Sinofsky said in a post on the Windows 8 blog.
Partners will provide WOA PCs as integrated, end-to-end products that include hardware, firmware, and Windows on ARM software
According to Microsoft, PCs and other devices built on the Windows on ARM platform (WOA) should arrive later this year at the same time as Windows 8 on Intel and AMD chips, but that the two would remain distinct in scope.
“These PCs will be built on unique and innovative hardware platforms provided by Nvidia, Qualcomm, and Texas Instruments, with a common Windows on ARM OS foundation — all running the same Windows OS binaries,” Sinofsky said.
“PC manufacturers are hard at work on PCs designed from the ground up to be great and exclusively for WOA.”
Users hoping to buy the product and install it on existing devices will be disappointed, however.
"WOA will not be available as a software-only distribution, so you never have to worry about which DVD to install and if it will work on a particular PC," Sinofsky said
“Windows on ARM software will not be sold or distributed independent of a new WOA PC, just as you would expect from a consumer electronics device that relies on unique and integrated pairings of hardware and software,” Sinofsky added.
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The technical exposition towards the end is interesting, and explains the why's and wherefors.
MS has always made it clear that there'd not be any 'OEM' copies of WOA.
This is in a way a sad day for us old fogies who have grown up with the 'IBM- PC' compatible world of Windows.
The huge sucess of Apple with its proprietary hardware\software platforms has shown the benefits of ditching all that legacy baggage, and of targeting specific hardware features, losing cross-platform compatibility in the process.
By wittgenfrog on 10 Feb 2012
NOT 'cross platform' 'hardware interchangibility' (or some such)
By wittgenfrog on 10 Feb 2012
Chin up old fogy, you'll still be able to do all of that on X86 hardware exactly as you've always done. I think there's plenty of room for "proper computing" and consumer level sealed devices.
By SirRoderickSpode on 10 Feb 2012
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