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Windows Already Up and Running On ARM Architecture

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the remember-apple-and-intel dept.

Microsoft 348

syngularyx writes "Over at Microsoft's MIX Developer Conference in sunny Las Vegas, Microsoft has demoed a new preview build of Internet Explorer 10 (which you too can take for a spin, if you feel so inclined), and also dropped a little premature Easter egg – the build of IE10, and the underlying Windows OS, were both running on a 1GHz ARM chip. Sneaky."

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holy crap! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35801694)

anal sex! anal sex! anal sex!

in your butt!

Re:holy crap! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35801732)

anal sex! anal sex! anal sex!

in your butt!

in the butt? where else would you have anal sex?

besides anal sex doesn't do anything. it just makes your dick stink.

Re:holy crap! (-1, Offtopic)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801852)

Um...it generally gets you off if you're the pitcher...

Re:holy crap! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35801996)

but your dick won't stink if you're the catcher!

Re:holy crap! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35802104)

You might be shocked by this, but the catcher generally gets off too.

Re:holy crap! (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35802466)

Um...it generally gets you off if you're the pitcher...

if you are homosexual i guess it has a strong appeal to you. not really any other way to have penetrative sex with a man.

if you are heterosexual ... i don't understand that one. maybe you do not have a real deep intimate emotional and spiritual connection with your partner so that any kind of romance or sex or even just curling up with her and watching a good movie is wonderful and satisfying .. so you're bored and think some kink will make up for the mediocrity of your realtionship.

otherwise, meh, why do you want to do her in the anus when a much nicer more appealing hole is about an inch away that will probably give her more pleasure and less discomfort? i suspect men who really like to have anal sex with women might be latently gay or have some of the tendencies but they don't know it because they are scared of the "fag" label and do not want to explore such a question. call it denial or whatever you like. as a heterosexual i can tell you that lesbians find a certain acceptance where gay men can be repulsive to both men and women, right or wrong that's the reality.

can you hack the iphone / ipad to run windows 8? (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801704)

can you hack the iphone / ipad to run windows 8?

Re:can you hack the iphone / ipad to run windows 8 (1)

ashvagan (885082) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801768)

You probably can, as I think Windows 8 is designed to run on tablets as well as PCs, having totally different shells running for each type.

Re:can you hack the iphone / ipad to run windows 8 (4, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801992)

What amazes me is how many of the young 'uns here are surprised, whereas we old guys remember when MSFT brought over Dave Cutler his big thing was portability and he had WinNT running on just about every chip out there.

So I wouldn't doubt they've kept a division of MSR going with an up to date portable version of the NT code base. what I don't see how they can keep from getting bit in the ass on is if they name it Windows people are gonna expect Windows apps to work which of course they most assuredly WON'T, not without a recompile that most companies simply won't do.

that is one I will hand to the F/OSS guys, if they want to run F/OSS OSes on the old Motorola 68k or any other chip they can do so if they spend the time recompiling it for the arch. Too much of Windows value is tied up in third party code that will simply not get off x86 anytime soon, and without it windows is pretty much worthless. After all people aren't gonna buy Windows licenses just to play Solitaire.

Re:can you hack the iphone / ipad to run windows 8 (-1, Troll)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 3 years ago | (#35802066)

Perhaps the guys at MSFT have more foresight than they're given credit for. They know that ARM-based systems are going to grow in popularity. They know that the #1 reason people buy Windows in reverse compatibility. So how do they get people to start using Windows on ARM? By introducing, several years earlier, the OOXML "standard". Get businesses to start using it. Then release Windows for ARM which, while it can't run most Windows apps, can open OOXML documents natively.

To add some anecdotal evidence, a few of my co-workers own Windows phones. None of them like the phones, and all of them says they'd prefer Android/iPhone, but that they got the Windows phone because of how well it handles their office documents.

Re:can you hack the iphone / ipad to run windows 8 (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35802634)

Windows can't open OOXML documents. Office can. That's a whole 'nother kettle of fish, they had big problems getting Office for Mac from PowerPC to x86, and reportedly the Office for Windows codebase is even older and more convoluted. It'll be hard if not impossible to port to ARM.

          The big problem, Windows will be at a big big disadvantage, and in fact I don't thik it'll be competitive:

          1) It's bloated and poor-performing when compared to most Linux distros, or MacOS for that matter. ARM systems tend to me "small" (low processor speed, low RAM, etc.)

            2) Applications. This is really Windows main (IMHO sole) strength, on ARM it is gone! You use Ubuntu, and you have a full set of NATIVE applications on ARM just as on x86*. You use Windows, you'll either have almost no applications (if it doesn't emulate x86), or you'll have all these apps that run at a fraction of native speed. Microsoft *had* NT running on HP PA-RISC, Dec Alpha, PowerPC, and perhaps one or two other platforms. The absolute lack of apps did the in (Alpha used an x86 emulator however.) There was Windows for Itanium, again no apps (it was really stripped, though, couldn't even print.)

---------------------
*Side note, i almost got into collecting some "exotic" computers, but after we installed Linux onto several, they were so indstinguishable from the regular PC experience I figured it wasn't worth it even if I could get them at a good price. I put Linux onto a DEC Alpha about 5 years ago, it was so similar to an x86 desktop that I would not have been able to tell it was an Alpha without looking at the case (which was a PC-like Case but said "Alpha" on it.) As a prank, my workmates switched my x86 Ubuntu desktop out for a PowerMac with Ubuntu, moved it into the same case, and got USB->PS2 adapters so my model M keyboard and all was plugged in, and put my home directory etc. back onto that. Seriously, I didn't notice it was a Mac until I rebooted and heard the Mac startup sound. We installed some distro on a PA-RISC, again it was indistinguishable from a x86 desktop. With a ARM based system you will not be disappointed with an ARM distro.

Re:can you hack the iphone / ipad to run windows 8 (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35802088)

Pure .NET apps should work though, which will assist Microsoft in eliminating non-managed languages.

Re:can you hack the iphone / ipad to run windows 8 (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35802196)

Eliminate but not quite. The future of Windows is one where only authorized driver developers, Adobe, and game companies are allowed to run native code.

Fortunately Windows will probably be all but dead by then (except for in the business world).

Re:can you hack the iphone / ipad to run windows 8 (2)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 3 years ago | (#35802610)

Adobe? Why Adobe? Don't they introduce more exploits to a Windows machine than even Microsoft? I know I've read articles in the recent past that say more exploits are using Adobe products as the vector than all other vectors combined. And, you're going to give Adobe some kind of a free pass on the new architecture? Wow - you should be a politician. You certainly have the smarts for it!

Re:can you hack the iphone / ipad to run windows 8 (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35802510)

Does anyone write "Pure .Net apps" though? A serious question, as I can't think of an app that I've written that is pure .Net. I always need to include some pInvoke (Platform Invoke or Windows API calls), which can make code less than portable (depending on memory packing / variable alignment, pointer size, etc.). However, since I write code to help maintain our Windows images and also as utilities for users (not as large applications), perhaps my perception is a bit skewed.

Re:can you hack the iphone / ipad to run windows 8 (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35802300)

CLR/.Net stuff should run fine I imagine. Also, I remember Alpha had FX32! which would run x86 code at decent speeds using static recompilation and that was many years ago now.

Re:can you hack the iphone / ipad to run windows 8 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35802396)

There is a reason they bought up an pc emulation company...

Re:can you hack the iphone / ipad to run windows 8 (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 3 years ago | (#35802460)

So I wouldn't doubt they've kept a division of MSR going with an up to date portable version of the NT code base. what I don't see how they can keep from getting bit in the ass on is if they name it Windows people are gonna expect Windows apps to work which of course they most assuredly WON'T, not without a recompile that most companies simply won't do.

There does not (yet, I suppose, but it's hard to see this changing) seem to be much interest in ARM for "non-appliances". People don't expect their OS X apps to run on their iPad, likewise they won't expect some random Windows application to run on whatever tablets/phones/appliances end up running "ARMWin", or whatever it gets called.

Re:can you hack the iphone / ipad to run windows 8 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35802482)

You have absolutely no idea what you're talking about.

Re:can you hack the iphone / ipad to run windows 8 (1)

Dan East (318230) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801820)

If Android has not been made to run on Apple iOS hardware, then it's very, very doubtful that Windows can be made to do so, as the source code isn't even available.

Re:can you hack the iphone / ipad to run windows 8 (5, Interesting)

schnikies79 (788746) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801872)

Except that is Android does run on iOS hardware, good point.

http://www.idroidproject.org/ [idroidproject.org]

Re:can you hack the iphone / ipad to run windows 8 (1)

schnikies79 (788746) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801896)

Wow, no more posting when I'm half asleep! :/

Re:can you hack the iphone / ipad to run windows 8 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35801884)

It's been done. Ages ago. http://www.google.com/search?q=android+on+iphone

Re:can you hack the iphone / ipad to run windows 8 (3, Informative)

the linux geek (799780) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801904)

ARM isn't standardized like x86 is, so probably not... at least not easily. IBM PC clones use a fairly standard set of firmware and peripherals, whereas ARM-based machines tend to be largely custom, just with a degree of binary compatibility between them. Getting Windows running on an iDevice would take serious work.

Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35801720)

Someone has to set the bar even lower.

Why is it sneaky? (1)

Jimbookis (517778) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801734)

It's about frickin' time! As usual MS take the longest to get on the trend train.

Re:Why is it sneaky? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35801776)

Ubuntu has support for ARM since 9.04 IIRC

Re:Why is it sneaky? (3, Informative)

mirix (1649853) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801922)

Debian has supported arm since potato (2000)...

Re:Why is it sneaky? (2)

Dr Max (1696200) | more than 3 years ago | (#35802468)

Except it is unbelievably bad at it. touch only works half the time, accelerated graphics hardly ever works, trying to get 3g to work is a pain, accelerometers are practically useless, onscreen keyboard non existent. I think I’ll wait for 11.4 and unity ui to improve before i try it again. I love the concept of a Linux tablet but unless your a super duper programmer its probably not quite there.

Windows on ARM for eight(?) years (3, Informative)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801802)

It's about frickin' time! As usual MS take the longest to get on the trend train.

Windows CE has been running on ARM for about eight (?) years.

Re:Windows on ARM for eight(?) years (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#35802344)

This makes me wonder about what MS has in mind for WinCE, actually. Have they decided that CE just isn't worth it, and it is going to be EOLed and/or consigned to only the lowest-end embedded/realtime stuff, with an NT derivative replacing it on all higher specced embedded devices? Is there a body of software(their own, or 3rd party), that they have commitments to do an architecture port, if win32-on-ARM is available, that they couldn't get commitments to port to the kinda-sorta-a-bit-win32 world of WinCE?

It just seems strange, since NT on ARM is going to break binary(and possibly to some degree source) compatibility with absolutely everything that isn't 100% pure CLR, that they would bother to port NT, unless they had concluded that CE was beyond hope, or that it would be cheaper to maintain a single kernel.

Given NT's multiplatform history, it doesn't surprise me that they could do it, I just don't really understand why they would... With WP7 they already have a CE-based embedded platform for running CLR applications, and kernel-level stuff like drivers isn't going to survive a architecture transition, so I'm genuinely curious what the plan is.

Re:Windows on ARM for eight(?) years (3, Informative)

jrumney (197329) | more than 3 years ago | (#35802546)

Windows CE has been running on ARM for about eight (?) years.

Windows CE 2.0 came out in November 1997 with support for DEC's StrongARM processor (now evolved into Marvell's Xscale range).

Re:Why is it sneaky? (3, Insightful)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801990)

It's about frickin' time! As usual MS take the longest to get on the trend train.

It's too little, too late. Even if Microsoft was able to get "true" Windows working perfectly on arm, what about all the 3rd party apps? What about Office? Outlook? Anything that matters in the Microsoft ecosystem?

With arm, Microsoft has to start from zero and compete on a level playing field. Something it has never been good at.

Re:Why is it sneaky? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35802044)

bullshit.

Re:Why is it sneaky? (1, Insightful)

Elbereth (58257) | more than 3 years ago | (#35802204)

What are you calling bullshit on? Where is your evidence that it is indeed bullshit? Do you have anything of value to actually say?

Re:Why is it sneaky? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35802224)

I'm really sorry bitch but I have Tourettes Syndrome.

Re:Why is it sneaky? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35802338)

Where is the evidence for anything he said? An argument presented without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

Re:Why is it sneaky? (4, Informative)

Desler (1608317) | more than 3 years ago | (#35802346)

He's calling bullshit the fact that Windows has no infrastructure for an ARM release. They already showed off Office for ARM months ago.

Re:Why is it sneaky? (2)

markdavis (642305) | more than 3 years ago | (#35802090)

Exactly. Plus I seriously doubt they are going to get anywhere near the performance or efficiency that Linux (Android Linux, other Linuxes) or iOS does on ARM because they are so late to the game. I bet it would take years to tune it to work "well enough", which would STILL be way behind the competition.

So start with no apps, no performance, no efficiency, and probably not much demand. If they can pull off MS-Windows on ARM as a market success, I would be REALLY surprised.

Re:Why is it sneaky? (1)

VertigoAce (257771) | more than 3 years ago | (#35802096)

Office 2010 on ARM was demonstrated during CES in January. Also, .NET apps should be binary compatible. It would not surprise me if it is easier to port 32-bit apps to ARM than it is to port them to amd64.

Re:Why is it sneaky? (1)

causality (777677) | more than 3 years ago | (#35802632)

Office 2010 on ARM was demonstrated during CES in January. Also, .NET apps should be binary compatible. It would not surprise me if it is easier to port 32-bit apps to ARM than it is to port them to amd64.

AMD64 is capable of running 32-bit code. So, are you saying Windows doesn't have some kind of functional equivalent to Linux's multilib? If not, that would be surprising. One would expect that a port to ARM would be much more difficult than getting 32-bit code to run on AMD64, an operation which has no good reason to require a port.

Note, multilib has nothing to do with Linux's open-source nature. It's how users of 64-bit Linux run things like Adobe Flash which are only available as 32-bit closed-source code (unless you count the "64-bit preview" they are just now offering).

Re:Why is it sneaky? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35802190)

It's too little, too late. Even if Microsoft was able to get "true" Windows working perfectly on arm, what about all the 3rd party apps? What about Office? Outlook? Anything that matters in the Microsoft ecosystem?

With arm, Microsoft has to start from zero and compete on a level playing field. Something it has never been good at.

Office is already confirmed on Windows ARM.
http://www.microsoft.com/Presspass/Features/2011/jan11/01-05SinofskySOC.mspx
http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2011/jan11/01-05SOCsupport.mspx

Re:Why is it sneaky? (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 3 years ago | (#35802488)

It's too little, too late. Even if Microsoft was able to get "true" Windows working perfectly on arm, what about all the 3rd party apps? What about Office? Outlook? Anything that matters in the Microsoft ecosystem?

Well, they *own* Office, so that shouldn't be too much of a problem. IE is obviously already working. Between those two they've probably covered the requirements of something like 40-50% of users.

Re:Why is it sneaky? (3, Insightful)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 3 years ago | (#35802568)

Not really. Every office I've ever worked in always had Office and at least a couple of other mission critical applications along with it. Be it Quickbooks with various plugins, photoshop, endicia, the ups app for shipping, etc. Office and ie are nothing on arm without the rest of the third party gang along for the ride.

Re:Why is it sneaky? (1)

Lesrahpem (687242) | more than 3 years ago | (#35802222)

Just wait until they try to get a patent for this. ;)

Compatibility? (4, Funny)

sillivalley (411349) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801756)

But... But... But...

How are they going to make it compatible with all those viruses and trojans out there?

/rimshot...

Re:Compatibility? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35801908)

Thats what VBS, C# and .Net is for,

IE 10 Already? (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801766)

It seems that everyone is going to go for the accelerated releases now.

10 is much bigger than 5 (firefox), so I think IE is going to win.

Chromium (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35801888)

Beats both with a score of 12

Re:IE 10 Already? (1)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801902)

It seems that everyone is going to go for the accelerated releases now.

10 is much bigger than 5 (firefox), so I think IE is going to win.

Chrome Canary build is already at 12, though I will admit it's a bit flaky still.

Re:IE 10 Already? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35802028)

As always Opera did it first. Opera is on version 11 already!

Re:IE 10 Already? (4, Funny)

hey! (33014) | more than 3 years ago | (#35802206)

Pfft. That's nothing. My browser release goes all the way to 11. It also supports the "beating-a-dead-meme" tag.

Re:IE 10 Already? (0)

causality (777677) | more than 3 years ago | (#35802658)

Pfft. That's nothing. My browser release goes all the way to 11. It also supports the "beating-a-dead-meme" tag.

Don't worry. Dead memes usually get modded up around here.

For some reason.

Re:IE 10 Already? (2)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#35802592)

My installer says nothing below win 7 is supported either - are they already leaving Vista in the lurch?

Window always tested many architectures (1)

ron_ivi (607351) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801788)

I thought one of the biggest Windows / SQL Server computers in the world was the Nasdaq Tandem (now HP) MIPS computer.
http://news.cnet.com/Nasdaq-upgrades-HP-based-trading-system/2110-1010_3-5628950.html [cnet.com]
though it seems Microsoft phased it out for other customers:
http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/1996/oct96/mipspr.mspx [microsoft.com]

Re:Window always tested many architectures (1)

jd (1658) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801796)

Was that really running Windows or just WINE?

Re:Window always tested many architectures (2)

the linux geek (799780) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801886)

The NonStop didn't, and doesn't, run Windows. It runs a custom operating system called NSK, which is somewhat unique (each core runs a copy of the OS).

Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35801790)

Will this version of Windows still require firewall and antivirus, i.e. bloating of the CPU.

Re:Question (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35801842)

I think you mean bloating of the OS, not CPU. And a firewall hardly adds bloat, it's in the kernel (although I must admit I'm not sure if that's where it is in Windows... I sure hope so).

As far as antivirus goes, Microsoft Security Essentials is actually very good, and extremely lean. There's not much reason to use any of the commercial antivirus bloatware anymore.

Re:Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35802080)

and will it run on my PS3?

I'm sure they had it skunkworks years ago (3, Interesting)

rsborg (111459) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801800)

At least based on my MS friend's claims... they probably have many such projects (say, like, a fully functional web-based MS office)
In fact I'd say this is one of those companies where such innovative ideas usually go to die, as they often "might windows or office cashflows".

Now that windows is threatened, then the skunkworks projects get revealed. The battle for ARM dominance is joined and now there are many contenders (WebOS, iOS, ChromeOS, etc).

Re:I'm sure they had it skunkworks years ago (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35802026)

In fact I'd say this is one of those companies where such innovative ideas usually go to die, as they often "might windows or office cashflows".

Having worked at Microsoft, here's my take.

Microsoft's products must be compatible with a huge variety of hardware and software configurations, with at least 10 years of backward compatibility. Yes, Microsoft has redundant projects and a lot of prototypes that never see the light of day. But it's better to kill an internal ARM build than to release a version which won't play nice with existing environments.

Believe me, Microsoft has a lot of smart engineers, programmers and researchers. Most people have NO IDEA of the level of talent that exists in Microsoft Research. At the same time, Microsoft is a huge company which must cater to the interests of businesses which insist on using IE6. Thus, it generally can't afford the luxury of breaking compatibility for the sake of agile development.

Of course, this is one side of the story. Management also makes mistakes.

If you must remember something, consider this: Microsoft doesn't want ARM Windows to be like Vista.

Re:I'm sure they had it skunkworks years ago (1)

maccodemonkey (1438585) | more than 3 years ago | (#35802296)

Historically Microsoft's biggest problem is they feel Windows is the solution to every problem, which has started to not work so well (the worst examples being Windows Tablet Edition and Project Origami, with the later absolutely blowing up in Microsoft's face, ever seen an Origami device in the wild?). It's the same old Windows running on a new processor. If "innovative" is "we ported to ARM" then Microsoft is not going to win this battle. And I don't feel as if Microsoft running the same operating system on a different chip is them joining the battle at all, just make the same old mistakes.

Re:I'm sure they had it skunkworks years ago (1)

steelfood (895457) | more than 3 years ago | (#35802302)

Preposterous! That's like claiming they grab the best talent just so that nobody else can.

Oh wait...

IE really needs to go. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35801928)

Make a final "IE legacy for corporate use only" for legacy intranets and redirect all consumers and new businesses to browserchoice and make international versions especially browserchoice.cn/.jp/.kr because of IE worship there. Also Gecko, Presto, Webkit and others need to combine into one unified HTML5 engine so that browsers can compete with add ons and interfaces instead of having to worry about fragmented rendering engines.

Web server running Windows on Arm? (1)

SpaceLifeForm (228190) | more than 3 years ago | (#35802024)

PHP has encountered an Access Violation at 7C82A01A

Users will hate it. [depending] (3, Insightful)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 3 years ago | (#35802042)

Assuming that Microsoft doesnt jump the shark and do something totally unlike their past releases, like overtly junking all back-compatibility with x86 legacy applications (I see this windows offering being adapted for use on the emerging tablet market, where existing legacy application support, even if crippled, would be a big selling point), this offering will be technologically inferior to the existing (and based on more portable technologies) offerings like iOS and Android.

The reason is because this new windows flavor will have to JIT emulate the x86 instruction set for those legacy apps, and do all kinds of calisthenics to make shit happen between native binaries and emulated binaries. The ARM cpu uses less power, but is also somewhat more gutless compared to desktop x86 chips. It will suck hard trying to emulate that bloated dinosaur of an instruction set.

If microsoft finally sacrifices the holy vestal virgin of legacy compatibility (Its major strongpoint in corporate environments by a long shot-- Look at the immense power of zombie IE6) for its ARM port, it will suffer the same fate as all the previous alternative architecture builds (PPC, SPARC, Itanium, et al.)-- That is to say, it will die on the vine because users will hate it with purple pasion.

I am curious to see how microsoft pulls this off. If they were smart, they would do something similar to what Apple did when they switched from PPC to x86 commodity chips, and incorporate a special abstraction layer like Roseta. (Note, I am NOT an apple fanboi-- If you call me one, you are an idiot. Just pointing out something I thought apple did that was interesting.)

Sadly, like so many things microsoft does these days, it will probably be filled with so much useless bloat and duct-tape code that it will run like congealed dogpoo even on high end ARM hardware when trying to do such legacy support-- (again, if they even do it at all.)

I will reserve further judgement until I see it in the wild. It might be great-- but I wont get my hopes up.

Re:Users will hate it. [depending] (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35802140)

MS is expanding into the ARM market, not switching into it (and out of x86/AMD64).

Re:Users will hate it. [depending] (2, Insightful)

walshy007 (906710) | more than 3 years ago | (#35802484)

They already have the solution to that,. .net, it is just in time compiled on x86 too and so once they port the .net framework over all things written in it will work just fine.

Sure you will lose native x86 compatibility, but there are many apps already out in .net that will work just fine, and you can code for x86 windows and arm windows in the same way.

Reality check (1, Insightful)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 3 years ago | (#35802046)

Yes Microsoft is going to chase the trend and make something for ARM, otherwise they cede the mobile space to Apple and Google. However, while they will call it Windows 8 it won't bear much relationship to the x86 edition we all know and either loath or love.

1. Anyone think Microsoft (or any of their hardware OEM partners) are remotely interested in releasing what we think of as an Operating System on a new mobile platform? Not when they can lock it down hard and rake in the same 30% Apple gets from their app store. Do not think it an accident Microsoft also leaked screenshots of thier app store this week.

2. No, it won't run any existing Windows apps. ARM is puny, x86 is strong. x86 can emulate ARM (see iOS and Android dev environments) but there is no way ARM is going to emulate x86 apps at a usable speed. Assuming of course I'm totally full of crap on point one and unsigned apps were somehow permitted in the first place. Exception possible for .NET projects with no native code, but again see point one.

3. Even if you could, smartphones and tablets are a different environment so an existing Windows app would be lame.

4. Microsoft has ported Windows in the past. They even got some of their own apps running. I'm told Alpha even had most of Office running native vs via FX!86 before the end. But 3rd party buy in wasn't there and they suffered something similar to the fate of Linux. No 3rd party apps means no large deployements which means no interest by developers to port the 3rd party apps. If Microsoft can make cross porting totally painless this time they might have better luck, but again see point one and three. Just having an ARM binary of Photoshop crap out of Visual Studio along with the x86_32 and x86_64 copies won't result in a product Adobe would be willing to sell to tablet customers. Also have to wonder if they will like giving Microsoft 30%. Yes the normal retail path eats more but BestBuy isn't out to kill them.

So if Windows on ARM gains little from the existing catalog of "Windows" applications, will almost certainly require more robust hardware (battery life is issue one) to run it vs Ubuntu or Android and might even piss off customers who won't realize that Windows != Windows will it get traction?

Real Reality Check (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35802340)

ARM is puny, x86 is strong. x86 can emulate ARM (see iOS and Android dev environments) but there is no way ARM is going to emulate x86 apps at a usable speed.

Holy cow, Batman! How much more backward can you understand the problem?

The reason x86 can emulate ARM is because ARM is *simple by design*. ARM cannot emulate x86 at decent speeds because x86 is a *pile of crap* from 30 years ago with legacy bullshit bolted on top of each new generation.

Re:Real Reality Check (1)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 3 years ago | (#35802470)

> The reason x86 can emulate ARM is because ARM is *simple by design*

Which is only a nicer way of saying RISC. Bottom line is you need more cycles to get the same work done and the fastest ARM chips clock slower than the slowest x86 chips. ARM products that play music and video for example, always offload that sort of compute intensive work because pure software decoding is pitiful. Yes, I own a Nokia N770. Where ARM totally owns Intel is power consumption, both idle power and computing work per unit of power.

Now try emulating a puny 1.6Ghz Atom on a 1Ghz ARM and see how well that goes. Even if you have one of the new dual core ARMs you don't have anywhere near the computing power to make the attempt and if you try you will only succeed in killing the battery, defeating the primary advantage of ARM vs x86.

Not so sunny (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35802056)

Actually it's been cloudy the last week.

So what? It's the apps .... (2, Insightful)

yelvington (8169) | more than 3 years ago | (#35802062)

Running the OS on an ARM chip isn't even half the battle. What about the apps? Has Microsoft created a "fat binary" format, the way Apple did for its migration from PowerPC to Intel? Are the development tools ready? Are all the Windows application developers lined up to recompile and migrate? How much of that stuff is still tangled up in assembler, anyway?

Microsoft's advantage has always been the breadth of its ecosystem. Now that's Microsoft's disadvantage. There's not much point to owning a power-miserly ARM-based Windows machine if the apps you've come to depend on aren't available. You might as well swallow the medicine and migrate to a more secure, stable OS with a future.

.NET (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35802630)

Has Microsoft created a "fat binary" format

No, but Microsoft does have .NET, and it might even have a compatibility layer to run CE apps.

Can symantec to catch up? (1)

bl8n8r (649187) | more than 3 years ago | (#35802118)

No way I'd run it without antivirus.

Windows, (2)

Sene (1794986) | more than 3 years ago | (#35802138)

is finally ARMed...

Better word: Desprate (1)

JoeCommodore (567479) | more than 3 years ago | (#35802168)

For some reason I think the better word is "Desperate" Like they notice their customers (well they assume they are customers) jumping on a new ship...

Didnt NT3 run on ARM and (1)

aussersterne (212916) | more than 3 years ago | (#35802186)

Alpha and several other non-x86 platforms?

I seem to recall this was back when Windows NT Workstation was aspiring to supplant Unices on a variety of Unix vendor hardware in the early '90s.

Re:Didnt NT3 run on ARM and (1)

Amazing Quantum Man (458715) | more than 3 years ago | (#35802476)

NT4 ran on x86, Alpha, PPC, and MIPS

Re:Didnt NT3 run on ARM and (2)

jrumney (197329) | more than 3 years ago | (#35802674)

NT has never run on ARM before, but several other RISC platforms:
  • NT 3.1, 3.5: MIPS, Alpha, x86
  • NT 4.0: MIPS, Alpha, x86, PowerPC
  • 2000: x86, ia64 (Alpha was supported up to RC2 then dropped before release)
  • XP, 2003: x86, x64, ia64
  • Vista, 2008, 7: x86, x64
  • 8: x86, x64, ARM

Computer vs Big Phone (0)

danparker276 (1604251) | more than 3 years ago | (#35802188)

Lets see Apple run their Mac OS or whatever they got on a tablet.

Re:Computer vs Big Phone (3, Informative)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 3 years ago | (#35802286)

Was that a joke?

Darwin, which is the actual OS underlying OS X is also the actual OS underlying iOS, which runs on iPhones and iPads. It's also open source.

Re:Computer vs Big Phone (0)

danparker276 (1604251) | more than 3 years ago | (#35802350)

I ment operating system. You can't even run flash.

Re:Computer vs Big Phone (4, Funny)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 3 years ago | (#35802442)

OS is short for operating system. Flash has nothing to do with the operating system.

I know Slashdot has gone downhill in the last ten years, but are you sure you're on the right site?

Re:Computer vs Big Phone (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 3 years ago | (#35802624)

Can't or doesn't?

Re:Computer vs Big Phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35802342)

They could, but don't want to. MS has been running the full windows on a tablet for 10+ years, and the market has mostly rejected it.

How many applications do they have? (3, Insightful)

dido (9125) | more than 3 years ago | (#35802238)

The real value of Windows is in the massive installed base of applications that it has. I wonder how many vendors of important Windows applications will release an ARM build. I do hope that it will be as simple (for the most part) as recompiling the same source in an ARM-based build environment, but even so I wonder how many developers would do it. Good luck getting all those legacy VB6 apps running on ARM Windows though, or any other app for which the source is gone. Without the application ecosystem one might as well be using some other platform.

Umm... So? (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 3 years ago | (#35802260)

When has anyone ever wanted Windows on anything but x86? Anyone else remember NT on MIPS, DEC Alpha, HPPA, etc?

-jcr

Already? (1)

srwalter (39999) | more than 3 years ago | (#35802266)

They're something like a decade late to the ARM party. "Already" is hardly the right work for it.

The boat has to be somewhere (1)

BrendaEM (871664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35802406)

Strip away 20 Years of hardware boat, but then add the most bloated OS on it.
It doesn't make sense.

Louis Vuitton Outlet (1)

helenbetty (2011096) | more than 3 years ago | (#35802412)

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will IE finally have WebGL? (1)

HelloKitty (71619) | more than 3 years ago | (#35802496)

MSFT, the only ones without WebGL...

Firefox4 has it
Chrome has it
Opera beta has it
Safari beta has it

Re:will IE finally have WebGL? (0)

TheCeltic (102319) | more than 3 years ago | (#35802614)

Nope, it will have "WebDirectX", the proprietary, lock-the-user-into-a-single-platform and closed 3D option... Of course, it is released AFTER WebGL has been out for a while.

Windows and IE running on ARM? Big deal. (1)

brokeninside (34168) | more than 3 years ago | (#35802532)

Windows of various incarnations and IE has run on many platforms.

Now, show me the latest version of Microsoft Office running on ARM with file compatibility with the x86 version. Then I'll be impressed.

But.. (1)

Surakin (1567445) | more than 3 years ago | (#35802552)

Shouldn't they finally fix the x86 versions first (?)

Ok... that's nice... (1)

pottymouth (61296) | more than 3 years ago | (#35802626)

After working with embedded linux for a number of years on Coldfire and ARM processors I just started working with Windows Automotive 7 for ARM. After about 6 months of this my opinion is: DEAR LORD GIVE ME BACK MY PENGUIN!!!!!

Perfect platform for a demo (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 3 years ago | (#35802680)

They could test it in the N900, everyone does that. Extra points if they manage to run it in maemo. Also they will show how tied are with Nokia that way.

Does nobody remember MS's "portability" promises? (3, Interesting)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 3 years ago | (#35802688)

Windows NT was originally positioned as a portable, platform-neutral system and Microsoft made a big deal of it not being just limited to Intel architecture but also running on ACE platforms (remember ACE?), MIPS, Digital Alpha, and at least one other whose name escapes me. IBM PowerPC maybe?

Microsoft seduced and abandoned companies that committed to Windows on non-Intel platforms, with the abandonment beginning almost as soon as the seduction was complete. My employer made a significant commitment to Windows-on-DEC-Alpha--at that time, their specific application benchmarked over twice as fast on Alpha as on Intel. It was NT 3.51, IIRC, and Microsoft moved up to Windows 4.0 on Intel and kept dragging feet and making excuses on Alpha, finally acknowledging that it was not going to be supported. At that point, the Alpha systems bought by my employer's customers were barely a year old, and those customers were not happy with us for selling them such rapidly orphaned products.

What matters is not whether Windows can run on ARM, but whether Microsoft actually has any serious or durable commitment to supporting it on that platform.

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