Do you remember how back in September there was a big debate over whether Windows 8 ARM tablets would have the link (otherwise known as an app) to the desktop in the Metro user interface?
And as a matter of fact, on the demos of the ARM tablets running Windows 8, there was a Desktop app. So naturally we expected that would be how it is.
But now, according to Paul Thurrott, a co-host of a Windows 8 podcast, it seems that Microsoft is dropping the link to the desktop which means that ARM tablets that run Windows 8 will only be able to support Metro apps (which was kind of how it was before except for a few selection of desktop apps that could run on both x86 and ARM.)
The Desktop Link that Microsoft Might Take Away is Circled
If Microsoft follows through on this idea, it essentially means that there will be different versions of Windows for each architecture: x86-64 and ARM.
This would be a good choice for Microsoft if they are trying to market ARM based tablet as the better one of the two, and as of now, ARM based tablets are better than Intel ones.
They have better battery life, they are lighter, faster, etc. They are also cheaper. And as I said before, there are barely any x86-64 apps that can work on ARM.
Steven Sinofsky, head of the Windows 8 division of Micrsoft, even said, “”We’ve been very clear since the very first CES demos and forward that the ARM product won’t run any x86 applications.”
Microsoft did show Microsoft Office running on an ARM based laptop back in January at CES, but I don’t know where they’re going with that.
There doesn’t seem to be a reason to make a whole desktop user interface for ARM based tablets, especially since not many developers see a market for point-and-click ARM apps and therefore aren’t recompiling their apps for ARM.
I can’t see a market either. ARM is all about mobile, no one really wants to use traditional desktop apps while on the go, it’s just too complicated.
Though I’ll admit, I was hoping for a a version of Mac OS X on the iPad before it came out and not just iOS (or iPhone OS as it was called back then.) That would have differentiated the iPad from let’s say and iPod Touch.
It’s what Microsoft is doing now. Microsoft isn’t just taking their phone operating system (Windows Phone 7.5) and making it bigger, they are taking what works well in their phone operating system, making it more tablet oriented, and combining it with their desktop operating system.
Now that’s a good operating system, and that’s why I’m not sure if it’s a good idea to take the desktop app away. Not to mention how confusing it would be adding on another option to Microsoft’s usual options that they have for Windows (Starter, Basic, Premium, Professional, Enterprise, Ultimate.) Of course in this case it makes sense, there’s no market for desktop ARM apps.
But still, it feels like something is being taken away… I don’t know, it’s a mixed bag right here. Tell me what you think below.