One of the big announcements from Steve Ballmer’s keynote was that Microsoft would be making a version of Windows that would run on ARM processors. This is a big deal for Microsoft, which has traditionally worked very closely with Intel/AMD with x86-based processors.
The x86 architecture is seen as inferior to ARM in some markets like the important and quickly growing tablet and smartphone market where long battery life is an important requirement. With Microsoft stating Wednesday at CES that it would bring the Windows OS to market for ARM chips; it is an acknowledgement that Microsoft plans to grab for a bigger slice of the tablet and smartphone market with its software.
Today ARM’s Tudor Brown told Reuters that support for ARM processors in Windows would help the software giant get a big foothold in smartphones and tablets.
Brown told Reuters, “With Microsoft, for some time it’s been more a question of when, not whether, and finally it’s now. We’ve been coaching and cajoling Microsoft for some time.”
ARMs architecture is licensed to major players in the tablet and smartphone market like Marvell and Qualcomm, which are the companies behind some of the most popular processors in the smartphone market.
Brown added, “Microsoft needs ARM to have any chance of playing in that [tablet and smartphone] space.”
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