Windows 8 on ARM Consumer Preview Mobile World Congress 2012 keynote presentation highlights

Posted by – February 29, 2012

Here’s my 21-minute highlights video of the Windows 8 on ARM “Consumer Preview” event keynote at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

After the presentation, I was able to ask a few questions to Steven Synofsky and Michael Anguilo, here are some of those replies that I got:

- Desktop apps on Windows Store and Windows Store for ARM: They’ll clarify it to my email later. Steve Synofsky says it’s clear in the blog post. Windows Store is for Metro apps but there is a “parallel thing” (paraphrasing) for Desktop apps, the whole Third Party Desktop Apps for Windows 8 are not to be previewed on the Consumer Preview release yet.

- Multi-booting other OS when secure boot is in use. Steve Synofsky says that is up to the OEM. Secure Boot is a feature Microsoft provides as an option. The whole point of Secure Boot is that people cannot just “boot stuff from their garage”. But he did not seem to dismiss that OEMs can dual-boot for example Android or Ubuntu on the same device.

He didn’t say if Microsoft plans to do backroom deals with manufacturers to force them only to load Windows 8 and nothing else on devices or not, I guess not, but you never know… Maybe they do not apply “rebates” for OEMs that make things a bit “too open”, does that make any sense?

- Windows 8 remains just TI, Qualcomm, Nvidia business for now on ARM, as with Windows Phone, Microsoft limits the number of ARM Partners that can fully hardware accelerate their software platform for now. I think a lot of the other ARM chip providers are in discussions with Microsoft to see when they can also support their software. My guess is Microsoft wants a very high performance for the first supported ARM SoCs, that is why it only is being demonstrated on TI OMAP4470, Nvidia Tegra3 and Qualcomm Krait MSM8960 for now.

If I do get in contact with someone from Microsoft over email to get clarifications for Windows on ARM, please let me know in the comments what type of questions remain to be answered.