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Intel Leaks Out Windows 8 Details: Four ARM Versions in the Works


There is no secret that no love is lost between Intel and Microsoft. Formerly known as Wintel alliance, both companies shifted away from each other, with Intel working on different builds of Linux operating System (Classmate PC, MeeGo and many more). Still, leaking roadmaps and strategies should be a big no-no.

Renee James, Intel Senior VP of SoftwareIn a conversation with Dana Bass of Bloomberg fame, Renee James, Intel’s Senior VP of Software disclosed Microsoft strategy with the upcoming Windows 8. According to Renee, Microsoft is working on four versions of ARM’ed Windows 8, and multiple versions of Windows 8 for x86 computers. We expect that ARM versions include 32- and 64-bit versions for upcoming 64-bit ARM processors from NVIDIA (Project Denver) and Qualcomm (Snapdragon 4).

These versions will not be binary compatible, i.e. x86 code will not run on ARM architecture and at present time, it isn’t known what tools Microsoft will offer to their developers in order to develop universal binaries. In a way, Microsoft is in harder position than Apple, who traditionally abandoned CPU architectures when they reached the end of their usefulness, told developers to shut it and moved to a new CPU architecture "leaving all men behind" (Motorola to IBM, IBM to Intel).

The reason for such disclosure might be that Intel is now aggressively hiring new staff to build the momentum for their new push of X86 architecture into tablets and smartphones. Intel is trying to position themselves as the only company in which your previous software will work on smartphones and tablets, touting binary compatibility between Atom and conventional Pentium and Core processors.

Things are really becoming interesting, we wonder how much time will take Microsoft to "pay back" to this deliberate disclosure coming from Intel’s executive.