the big announcements from Steve Ballmer’s keynote was that Microsoft would be
making a version of Windows that would run on ARM processors. This is a big
deal for Microsoft, which has traditionally worked very closely with Intel/AMD
with x86-based processors.
The x86 architecture is seen as inferior to ARM in some markets like the
important and quickly growing tablet and smartphone market where long battery
life is an important requirement. With Microsoft stating Wednesday at CES that
it would bring
the Windows OS to market for ARM chips; it is an acknowledgement that
Microsoft plans to grab for a bigger slice of the tablet and smartphone market
with its software.
ARM's Tudor Brown told Reuters that support
for ARM processors in Windows would help the software giant get a big
foothold in smartphones and tablets.
Brown told Reuters, "With Microsoft, for some time it's been
more a question of when, not whether, and finally it's now. We've been coaching
and cajoling Microsoft for some time."
ARMs architecture is licensed to major players in the tablet and smartphone
market like Marvell and Qualcomm, which are the companies behind some of the
most popular processors in the smartphone market.
"Microsoft needs ARM to have any chance of playing in that [tablet and
quote: X86 is still in the area of 5-6x the performance gap at the same clock frequency as ARM chips.. So it clearly still has the performance advantage in this arena..