Hardware, Software Programs

Microsoft Expands Windows 8 on ARM Approved Vendors List: Welcome Huawei, Marvell


As we previously reported, the x86 version Microsoft Windows 8 are going to come out in very late fourth quarter. One of our sources came out and mention that the plan is to launch on November 29, 2012 – if true, Microsoft would miss out on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

However, Microsoft’s biggest problem isn’t the x86 version, it is the ARM version. The company started to boost its "Windows 8 will run on ARM" last year on CES and kept the hype building up. The latest information speaks of WoA debuting at the tail end of first half of 2013 i.e. June. The source that mentioned November 29th date also mentioned it is "very possible" that Windows 8 for ARM will ship in early third quarter 2013, but "will be on shelves en masse for Back To School bonanza in August".

In case you are a hardware vendor and are starting to design the product which will be released at the launch of "ARMed Windows", Microsoft released the "Windows 8 OEM Qualified Vendor" spec sheet which clearly lists the components which Microsoft recommends to be used when creating the product. If your product is not on that list, you’re SOL – as Microsoft will not support your design unless you pay a hefty NRE (Non-Recurring Engineering) to the company.

The spec list recently got updated with a couple of new names, and the "Windows 8 on ARM Approved Vendors" list contains following players:

  • Huawei (New Entry)
  • Marvell
  • Qualcomm
  • TI

Out of these five, Huawei is maybe the biggest surprise of them all. The original "holy trinity" of NVIDIA-Qualcomm-TI is now in danger from two players which want a piece of Windows 8 pie.