There are rumors that Microsoft will be showcasing some kind of Windows for ARM at CES January 6-9th, but also, it's rumored that actual release may be "an early demo" because of the need for "ARM Drivers"?
What kind of drivers can possibly be needed to be ported for Windows or the like to work on ARM Powered systems?
Webcams? Those are in the SoC anyways aren't they? Printers? Cloud printing solutions such as the one from Google or Apple's AirPrint should solve that shouldn't it?
Since all the main features of an ARM Powered laptop or desktop design are in the SoC, I have a hard time trying to imagine what kind of delay Microsoft would want to argue needs to be brought by hardware makers for their ARM Powered Windows OS to be ready for the market.
More likely Microsoft is working on an ARM compatible applications platform for Windows.
I think that the more likely situation is that Microsoft does not want to make its long time partner Intel think that Microsoft is doing anything to precipitate things away from x86 onto ARM platforms. I believe that Microsoft's main goal is to prepare a Windows for ARM just in case the upcoming ARM Powered laptops and desktops become a huge trend and thus Microsoft would rather not leave that market segment exclusively to embedded Linux OSes like Chrome OS for ARM, Ubuntu for ARM and other optimized Linux OS.
Also likely Microsoft wants to have a strong ARM Powered Tablet oriented Windows OS. Thus the UI for Tablet use could be similar to Windows Phone 7.
Logically, to be competitive, the licencing price of Windows 8 for ARM should be at most half the price of same licencing on Intel.
- Microsoft ARMs Windows for iPad assault (allegedly) (go.theregister.com)
- Report: Microsoft bringing Windows to ARM chips (news.cnet.com)
- Rumor: Microsoft to talk about an ARM version of Windows at CES [Hard to believe] (intomobile.com)
- Microsoft Windows for ARM devices set for CES 2011 (techradar.com)
- Microsoft plans Windows tied to ARM chips: reports (marketwatch.com)
- Microsoft to Announce an ARM Processor Compatible Version of Windows OS (slashgear.com)
- Microsoft to announce ARM-based Windows at CES? (engadget.com)
- Microsoft Plans to talk Windows on ARM at CES, but Products a Ways Off [Mobilized] (mobilized.allthingsd.com)