Windows 8 gives Intel the time to produce an ARM competitor

Intel: Windows ARM port an ?opportunity?

Intel vice president Dadi Perlumutter told Ars Technica that the CES announcement of an ARM-version of Windows 8 ‘could be a good thing for Intel’

The reasoning given by the Intel boss is that Microsoft ‘has a long ways to go on the tablet software front,’ and that porting of Windows 8 to ARM will assist the software giant in developing tablet-friendly software.

Perlemutter’s view appears to downplay the value of Balmer’s much hailed but late arriving Windows 7 tablets based on Intel’s own processors. Intel are reportedly of the view that in the time Microsoft will take to produce a ‘fresh, tablet-centric UI’, the chipmaker will finally be ready with an Atom CPU that compete with ARM.

Given Windows 8 is at least two years away, the admission that the firm is going to take a further two years to deliver a processor that can compete with ARM appears to be an astonishing admission. Two years is a long time in the fast moving mobile device category, Android itself is only a little over two years old.

Of course Intel aren’t just waiting for Microsoft to launch Windows 8, the firm is actively engaged in efforts to bring mobile-centric operating systems to the x86 such as the Nokia-Intel MeeGo joint venture and the Intel-curated x86 port of Android.

Perlmutter reserved some criticism for the Nvidia announcement of the intention to create a high performance desktop ARM processor, implying a degree of hypocrisy from the graphics specialist by pointing out that the firm had been downplaying the roll of the CPU in favour of the role of the GPU in modern computing.

With both Intel and AMD both recently launching new processors combining CPU and graphics cores, one obvious explanation for Nvidia’s move is to translate the success of the Tegra 2 ARM CPU + GPU chipset in mobile devices out into the desktop world.

"If they really believe that, and are designing a low-power, low-performance CPU core, then I’m very happy," Perlmutter told Ars.

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