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Thursday, 19 May 2011 11:07

Microsoft dismisses Intel’s ARM compatibility moan

Written by


But not entirely
Microsoft is dismissing Intel claims that legacy Windows applications won’t run on Windows 8 for ARM processors.

Microsoft exec Steven Sinofsky described the claims as “factually inaccurate and unfortunately misleading.” He noted that Microsoft’s development goals were clear and that the technology was still in its demonstration stage, which is basically a fancy way of saying that it doesn’t really work yet.

However, Sinofsky did not get into specifics and it is still somewhat unclear what Intel got wrong to begin with. An Intel executive claimed that Microsoft would release four Windows 8 SKUs for ARM processors and that legacy apps would not be supported.

So far, Microsoft has not outright denied either of the claims and punters doubt that full legacy compatibility could be possible anyway.

More here.

 

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Comments  

 
-20 #1 gangsta072 2011-05-19 11:40
Don't like it , want my Windows armless :-?
 
 
+16 #2 Bl0bb3r 2011-05-19 12:06
Don't know Pete, "demonstration stage", to me the word "demo" means they have something to show. It might not be a general usage one, but case specific, nevertheless it is something.

What intel got wrong is envy... Windows was and is and intel orientated product, but MS doesn't want to be nor ever was an exclusive company (they partnered with AMD for x64 and the runtimes are even called correctly amd64). Now MS sees a good market in mobile chips based on ARM. Why should they stay with intel and wait for x86 to be good enough for this market?

Also "full", "not all"... that's a word play.
 
 
-1 #3 dicobalt 2011-05-19 14:50
Quoting Bl0bb3r:
Why should they stay with intel and wait for x86 to be good enough for this market?


By the time MS gets Win8 out the door Intel's x86 Medfield CPU will be shipping. There really is no wait at all. In fact Intel may be waiting on Win8 for a dumbed down "touch" interface because apparently some people find a start menu and window interface too confusing to use on a touch screen.
 
 
+3 #4 Bl0bb3r 2011-05-19 20:40
Quoting dicobalt:
By the time MS gets Win8 out the door Intel's x86 Medfield CPU will be shipping.


Yes, but we have no concrete details about it let alone trust MS to build an OS before the chip arrives. Also it's rumored to be 144mm2... which is a lot compared to a 49mm2 Tegra 2. It might not be as energy efficient as an ARM so this makes some mobile market areas inaccessible for intel right now.


Also the Start Menu is nothing new... it works on the same principle as a phone's menu. It's not the OS that needs addressing this issue.
 
 
+2 #5 branko 2011-05-19 20:42
Quoting Bl0bb3r:
Windows was and is an intel orientated product...



A correction is in order here. Early versions of Windows NT (which is a grandaddy of all current Windows versions) also worked on MIPS, DEC Alpha and IBM/Motorola PowerPC, with couple of experimental implementations (e.g. for Sun SPARC).

And let us not forget Itanium, which, while strictly "Intel", is very different from X86.

So I doubt there is anything inherently X86-specific or Intel-specific in the Windows architecture.

I suspect that (re)implementin g a decent number of hardware drivers might actually be a more difficult task than porting the OS kernel itself...
 
 
+6 #6 Seikent 2011-05-19 20:59
Windows for ARM may have a degree of compatibility with x86 applications, but I can guess 2 things:

1. if you're able to run something, it will run slow because windows should 'transform' the compiled code to something arm-compatible.

2. developers may be able to re-compile their applications for arm without many issues and get good speed, but that is up to every developer. If microsoft manages to make very compatible compilers, in the future, every developer should be able to port their applications with low costs.
 
 
-2 #7 dicobalt 2011-05-19 21:29
Quoting Bl0bb3r:
MS to build an OS before the chip arrives

might not be as energy efficient as an ARM


Intel is well known for giving engineering samples to its partners. I am sure Microsoft has plenty of Medfield chips to develop on since Intel has them in demo units.

Yes 32nm Medfield is competitive with ARM on power consumption.
http://www.anandtech.com/show/4345/intels-2011-investor-meeting-intels-architecture-group-14nm-airmont-atom-in-2014
22nm Silvermont will be even more competitive since it will use FinFET (aka 3D Trigate) putting ARM at further disadvantage.
 

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