Windows 8 running on ARM – so what?

Windows 8 running on ARM – so what?

All over the web there has been excitement and semi buzz about Windows 8 coming out on the ARM platform.

In many ways however, I believe that this is much ado about nothing.

Even if Windows 8 is released and there is a version that runs on ARM processors and therefore mobile, smaller devices, the question still remains – who wants to run Windows on a tablet.

The success of Apple’s Ipad is precisely because Apple sought to build a new tablet operating system that would be driven primarily by the use of the human finger.

Ipad OS driven primarily by the use of the human finger

It’s success is largely a reflection of the fact that from the bottom up, it had a fresh and intuitive design.

Here, we are talking about Windows 8, the successor to Windows 7.

Microsoft showed us absolutely no part of the new User Interface for Windows 8 so the question I have is, will there be 2 new interfaces for Windows 8?

One for regular PC’s and one for tablets/mobile devices? Or is Microsoft saying we should rejoice because the Windows OS will look and feel the same on tablets and x86 machines?

Newsflash – Windows 8 on ARM will not be successful because they get the current Windows functions and OS to run on an ARM chip. Windows 8 on ARM will only be successful if, (like Apple), they are able to scale back Windows and make sure that mobile devices running Windows 8 have an aesthetically pleasing and USEFUL UI design.

Apple did not use the same UI for laptops that they did for the Ipad.

Let’s hope Microsoft does not make that mistake…

  • Bobby Spirolatus

    Oh I’m sure they will make that Mistake. This is Microsoft we’re talking about … They are so busy rejoicing because they have Windows 8 on ARM that they dont understand that Windows does not port well as is to mobile devices…

    Whatever….

  • Timiteh

    So what ?
    So perhaps that Microsoft will finally have one kernel for all its O.S which can run on either ARM or x86.
    You seem to forget that both Mac OS X and iOS use the same kernel .
    You also seem to forget that different distributions of Linux use the same kernel and are able to run without problem on different CPU architectures included ARM and x86, thus enabling the use of the more appropriate platform for a specific scenario.
    So Microsoft is also catching up with its two main competitor by being able to run on these 2 architectures with the same kernel.
    I think that Microsoft use an alpha version of Windows 8 with a Windows 7 shell for their demo both because they don’t want to show even the prototypes of the new U.I but also because at this stage, i am not so sure that they could have anything really significant to show in terms of new U.I.
    The interesting part is that an Alpha version of Windows 8 using the WIndows 7 shell is able to run fluently on a ARM S.O.C.
    Assuming that ARM CPU are relatively underpowered compared to x86, this could mean that the alpha version of Windows 8 is already quite optimized.
    And seriously it is obvious that Windows 8 will be able to run different U.I and probably to switch between U.I in relatively transparent way for the user.
    Windows 2008 server was already able to run without a graphic U.I a few years ago.
    I suspect that there will be at least 3 U.I for Windows 8:
    *The Slate U.I , rumored to be named MOSH
    *An evolution of AERO
    *A whole new U.I, rumored to be named Wind
    I also suspect that only the 2 first U.I will availlable for Windows on ARM.
    However i am quite sure that the 3 U.I would be availlable for Windows on x86.
    And last but not the least, do not forget that there is a significant probabilty that ARM based servers become quite popular in a close future and that Microsoft also need to be ready to have a version of Windows server running on those kind of servers.

    • djcata03

      Good point.It will be great if thay do like that (3 verions of UI).And about iPad : the iOS is good for iPhone but sucks on iPad (at least now).Android 3 is good for tablets and even Ubuntu netbook is better than iOS.

    • xinu

      Well written response :D.

  • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

    Yeah but one kernel or not, it’s well known that porting Windows directly to mobile formats hasn’t always yielded very successful results.

    It just has to be well thought through…

    • Timiteh

      It is normal that porting Windows directly to mobile formats didn’t yield very successful results. Porting a desktop O.S with close to no modification to mobile devices is quite a stupid move. This has been the downfall of Tablet PC. However it doesn’t seem to me that it is what Microsoft is doing with Windows 8.
      First of all, if rumors are true Microsoft is removing all compatibility from the system to handle it through virtualization.
      This alone has the potential to remove most of bloat of the O.S.
      Second Microsoft has worked since several years to break the system in components and to cut all ties between the shell and the core.
      Third Microsoft has been optimizing and trimming down as much as possible the core of the O.S.
      Once all those goals would be achieved, Microsoft will have the potential to build with relative ease several system from those running efficiently on low power hardware with no backward compatibility at all,besides with .Net apps, to those taking advantage of super computer level hardware either as a server or as very powerful PC.
      Each of this system could have the appropriate U.I/Shell .
      I think that at some point Microsoft could even be able to use Windows on smartphones assuming it has the appropriate U.I.

      • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

        Thats interesting theory and we’ll see how well the execution works. So far I haven’t seen anything beyond speculation. What you say sounds logical but we’ll have to see how it’scoded…

        • Timiteh

          In fact Microsoft doesn’t really have the choice thus they must execute this strategy right or they will have a lot of troubles in a close future.
          Moreover as i say early Microsoft need to take in account ARM based servers which seem to be quite power efficient and have the potential to become very popular in a close future.
          So assuming that Windows server and client use the same base code, to port this code to ARM could benefit all versions of Windows.

          • xinu

            Im sure Microsoft will try their best, they suffered quite a few setbacks in recent years with apple introducing iOS, windows 8 is Microsoft chance to release a mobile os.