Microsoft demonstrated a version of the firm’s Windows operating system running on the ARM processor core at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
The demo, given by Microsoft Windows division president Steve Sinofsky during a news conference, focused on Windows rather than any specific hardware playing host to the Microsoft Windows port.
Sinofsky showed off versions of Word and PowerPoint running on a hardware device with TI and Nvidia components but the operating system itself is said to be a preview of the next generation Windows 8.
“Today's demonstrations will highlight the work we have done on the architecture of Windows to enable the richness of the Windows platform to run natively on the ARM platform,” Sinofsky said.
Microsoft revealing that an ARM version of Windows will need to wait until Windows 8 means that the arrival of an ARM-compatible Windows looks set to be at least two years away.
Two years is a very long time given the rapid pace of change in the mobile industry. Ironically tablets running Windows 7 will have the non-Ipad tablet market to themselves for the next three months while Android tablet manufacturers wait for the tablet-friendly Gingerbread.
In two years time it’s entirely possible that Intel’s advance in low-power processors such as the Atom drive will make an ARM version of Windows 8 redundant before it appears.