When Intel’s chief executive office Paul Otellini said during the latest earnings call that Microsoft will put Windows 8 on smartphones, people thought he was mistakenly referring to Windows Phone 8, a scaled-down version of the software thought to be in the works alongside its desktop Windows 8 counterpart.
But as Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer dropped a bombshell at CES 2011 by confirming rumors that the next-gen Windows will run on both ARM and x86 architecture, the company’s intent to provide a single version of Windows 8 for both mobile and desktop devices came into full view.
Otellini wasn’t daydreaming, here’s what he said:
The plus for Intel is that as they unify their operating systems we now have the ability for the first time: one, to have a designed-from-scratch, touch-enabled operating system for tablets that runs on Intel that we don’t have today.
And secondly, we have the ability to put our lowest-power Intel processors running Windows 8, or ‘next-generation Windows,’ into phones, because it’s the same OS stack. And I look at that as an upside opportunity for us.
Even though Otellini made that statement, his company currently lacks a competitive silicon offering to compete with system-on-a-chip solutions from Texas Instruments, Samsung, Qualcomm and Nvidia which make chips that go into the vast majority of mobile devices. It’s no secret, however, they’re working on a SoC of their own to power the devices like a concept Intel smartphone shown below.
Also, should be interesting seeing how Microsoft solves the power consumption issue with a unified OS stack. Since they promised next-gen Windows would run on power-savvy ARM chips, it would appear that the operating system will cleverly scale down automatically when ran on small factor devices.