I guess they still need to do a lot of work on the whole ARM and x86 Intel compatibility system so all the .exe files “just work” on ARM (virtualized, emulated, or whatever trick they are working on..), and for that a bunch of software optimizations still need to be done.
They should be selling or giving those ARM Powered Windows 8 Tablets away at least to the developers during the coming weeks and months? You can right now download Windows 8 Preview Edition at http://dev.windows.com but this is not yet the ARM version of that Preview software.
How can the ARM Version of Windows 8 be ready for release already?
– On a tablet, they don’t really need to have all the .exe apps support, on ARM anyways, they can virtualize all that later.
– Microsoft probably is tempted to be a part of the Christmas tablet sales party. All they have to do is release an ARM tablet version of it now.
– The tablets don’t need as powerful ARM processors as Laptops, as you want full screen multi-tab web browsing to be fully smooth on a Laptop in Desktop mode. On a tablet, consumers are ok with a bunch of full screen UI stuff moving around, and while multi-tasking is awesome, basic consumers don’t even really know how to fully take use of it on a touch screen device.
– They can call those Beta tablets, or something.
What Microsoft should do with Windows 8 if they want to win market share and if they want a chance to compete with Android, Chrome OS and iOS on the platform ecosystem:
– Make it free
– Make it open source
Sure, this is a very weird suggestion for Microsoft. But why not?
Can’t Microsoft find other ways to monetize their platform than upfront licencing and patent lawsuits against competing platforms? If I am the Microsoft CEO, I tell them to focus on monetizing web apps, web services, provide the Office suite as a fully optimized web app, with paid services online for power users and the enterprise. Full cloud based Virtualization of all Windows apps, provide that as a service. If Windows used to get an average of $50 per Windows licence, they can focus to try to get as much or more through cloud services.
Should Microsoft be ashamed of revealing their source code to the world? The idea of open source is to enable the most manufacturers access to customize and optimize the OS for all types of hardware. Because manufacturers have to differentiate with hardware, Microsoft cannot win market share if all the Windows hardware looks too similar. They need all the smallest Chinese manufacturers to be using Windows 8 and sell those devices to developing countries and worldwide without worrying about optimizing, without worrying about paying licence fees, the strategy of free and open source instantly legalizes the Chinese and Indian market for Microsoft.
At last CeBIT, I interviewed Microsoft about Open Source, with the right CEO in charge (can Steve Ballmer do it?), they should embrace open source for Windows 8:
Let’s see tomorrow how right or wrong I am with my Windows 8 speculations.
Acer is also launching one of those new thin Intel Core i powered Ultrabooks, expensive, but thin but they promise power. I haven’t yet seen one with 2 USB3 ports, I wonder why they don’t design them with that. The price starts at 799€ and goes up to 1199€ depending on configuration, using any among Intel Core i3, i5, i7, SSD or Hard Drive and the amount of RAM.
Lenovo is launching this new Ultrabook based on the second generation Intel Core i5 and Core i7 processors, pricing starts at $1199, goes up perhaps to about $1999 with all kinds of options in terms of dual or quad core processor, 128GB or 256GB SSD memory, 2GB, 4GB or 8GB RAM. They have done some ventilation design so there are no vents under the laptop, it’s aluminium everywhere, so it stays cold under the laptop even though this is a quite powerful new processor.
Charlie Kindel, Windows Phone Developer Ecosystem General Manager, quit his job at Microsoft to start a new (Android?) startup in Seattle. Windows Phone is kind of a failure and is rapidly losing market share to the superior Android platform in the smart phone and tablet race. To remain a fair competitor in this market, will Microsoft stop suing Android companies for bogus patents and bogus licences, stop charging licences for Windows (give it away for free!) and even open up the source? How can anyone (fairly) compete with open source and free?
Here is my video interview with Charlie Kindel filmed at last year’s LeWeb conference in Paris:
Microsoft is preparing Windows 8 on ARM, but until then, there are Windows CE solutions in use and in the works such as these solutions demonstrated in this video. What do you think about Microsoft’s positionning in this embedded software market? Paul Wright offers his opinions on Windows in the second half of this video.
Short of calling it Azure OS (yet..), Microsoft is going all-in making HTML5 web-apps the core of the next generation Windows 8 apps ecosystem. It means Microsoft is betting their farm on the cloud. Microsoft is going all-in for “immersive internet computing” touch screen tablet UI support. Microsoft is making sure ARM Powered Windows 8 works exactly like on x86.
Watch this following awesome demonstration and talk of Windows 8 on ARM at Computex. I embed it starting at time-code 17m49s when Mike Anguilo starts talking about ARM Windows 8 status, but also do make sure to rewind to the start to watch the full Windows 8 UI demos. Mike Anguilo runs Windows planning and is also responsible for Microsoft’s technical engagement with the Windows 8 ecosystem.
The Microsoft people like Mike Anguilo seem to have a serious plan, they probably still have some of the worlds best engineers on staff and they can afford to basically do whatever they want. It will be awesome to see how Microsoft will try to sustain a same or greater level of revenues and profits in such a rapidly auto-disrupting industry. While it can be argued Microsoft is late to the whole Smartphone and Tablet game, on the other hand the number of Smartphones sold in the last 5 years is probably 15x smaller compared to the number of Smartphones likely to be sold within the next 5 years. And the number of Tablets sold in the last 3 years likely is probably 150x smaller compared to the number of Tablets likely to be sold in the next 3 years. It sure looks to me like Windows 8 is going in the right direction for Microsoft. Since Windows 7, Microsoft has given up its always escalating hardware requirements Wintel strategy to instead focus on cutting off more and more of the bloatware. With Windows 8 they now even move over to an even more cloud centric Browser based HTML5 application ecosystem, sounds to me like an answer to Chrome OS in the form of an Azure OS with backwards “.exe compatibility”. The question is, how can Microsoft differentiate its UI enough to justify the proprietary pricing differences? Or if they plan to be priced comparatively even with the cheapest Android and Chrome OS Open Source alternatives, how can they provide enough of a differentiating user experience to hold unto those billion Windows PC users that they got with the previous Wintel PC ecosystem?
While I don’t know if it would make complete business sense and a corporations main focus legally has to be to take care of its shareholders, here are a few more directions I think Windows 8 might need to get into if they seriously want to be the dominant ARM Powered ecosystem:
– Windows 8 needs to be open source and free. They can do it like Google, and develop their next gens in secret hardware/chipset partnerships, but to get onto the next couple billion ARM Powered Smartphones, Tablets, Set-top-boxes, Laptops, they need it to be open and free. Nothing closed and pricey can ultimately win over open and free in the ARM world.
– Microsoft needs to focus on providing software as a service. The new Windows 8 App Store needs to have all the HTML5 apps, all the Android apps (yup.. why not?), and also, all the .exe apps (all Windows 98/XP/Vista/7 apps should just work), if not through native code execution then through cloud based software virtualization.
– Microsoft needs to focus on eliminating all the bloat, minimize the hardware requirements, make all ARM chipsets compatible and invite all manufacturers to use it for free. A $100 ARM Powered Laptop sold a year from now in every super market needs to be able to run a full Windows 8 OS, boot in 3 seconds, resume in 0.03 seconds and last 30 hours on a battery.
Do I think Microsoft can become so disruptive to its old business models so fast? I don’t know how such a corporation may or may not quickly adjust or/and change its leadership. I don’t know if Steve Ballmer needs to be replaced by a new CEO like Mike Anguilo or someone as cool as Google’s Vic Gundotra (who previously worked at Microsoft) for these major business model shifts to actually occur as soon as with Windows 8/Azure OS. If done correctly, Microsoft could maybe even make more money per new Windows user than they did on selling basic proprietary software licences. How hard could it be for Microsoft to provide good enough cloud services and web app and web content integration over a potentialy popular Windows 8 devices for them to make up more than those $40-$80 or so per Windows user over 2-5 years of use in average pure profits per user? Or will Microsoft insist on staying proprietary, closed, try to enforce some kind of closed profit margin value chain where they’d try to reserve some kind of significant profit margins some what imitating Apple’s large profit margins business model on selling ARM Powered devices? What do you think? Post your opinions on Windows 8 in the comments.
Here are a few awesome ARM Powered Windows 8 quotes that you can find in the 32-minute Microsoft Windows 8 Computex demo video:
The most important app of all on these systems is the browser. Over 60% of people’s time on any of those systems is focused in the browser.
We’ve extended the trend that we started with Windows 7, on keeping our system requirements on either flat or reducing them over time.
The newest addition to the Windows ecosystem is of course ARM.
This has been made possible in part because of the innovation that has been going on in the ARM ecosystem today. ARM SoC’s in general, virtually all of the new ones support Windows 8 system requirements. They all run over 1Ghz. They all have hardware accelerated graphics.
They are all getting more powerful. They are all getting more efficient. The cost is coming down and they are enabling thinner and lighter form factors than ever. In fact, all of these ARM Powered PCs that I am showing you here are not only able to experience to full Windows 8 experience you just saw, they are also able to support a new mode called Always On Always Connected. So the way you would it expect it from a Smartphone today, these systems will be able to instantly wake, they’ll be able to go in standby for a really long time with low power drain, get great battery life but stil stay syncing and connected all at the same time.
Cupp Computing is now launching as a product their module to replace the hard drive in any Laptop, add an SSD, up to 2 MicroSD cards (one for the ARM Powered OS of your choice), and with a keyboard shortcut you instantly go from the ARM Powered OS to the x86 OS, and back while the x86 goes to sleep. The ARM Powered Laptop runs up to 40 hours on a battery, if you have just 10 minutes left of battery, switch to ARM mode and you’ve still got 1 hour of use to finish your work. In ARM Mode it can run Android, Ubuntu, Chrome OS and other. They are currently using OMAP3, they can use OMAP4 also soon for more ARM Performance. They also plan to work with motherboard manufacturers to add the whole ARM Powered laptop module right onto all motherboards so ARM Powered laptop mode becomes a default option in all laptops.