Print 17 comment(s) - last by estarkey7.. on Sep 21 at 1:11 PM

Microsoft confirms apps must be ported for ARM devices on Windows 8

SlashGear reports that Microsoft has admitted that the x86 apps will not run on ARM platforms. ARM processors and Windows 8 are expected to pair up in notebooks and likely inside tablets as well.

Rather than native support for x86 apps on ARM platforms, the developers will have to port their titles to a new architecture called Metro UI. This architecture will run on both ARM and x86 platforms including laptops and more. The confusion over the confirmation that x86 apps won't run on ARM comes from a statement that Microsoft's Steven Sinofsky made at an analyst chat this week.

During that analyst Q&A Sinofsky had noted that legacy apps from Windows 7 would work on Windows 8. That was taken to mean Windows 8 on both x86 and ARM platforms. He also said, "[Microsoft] been very clear since the first CES demos and forward that the ARM product won’t run any x86 applications."

At least part of the reason that x86 apps won't run on ARM Windows 8 machines is that the apps for x86 aren't designed with power frugality in mind and security is also a concern. Sinofsky said, "If we do let them run, we just brought the perceived negatives of some of the ecosystem. So, people say, great, now it’s easy to port viruses and malware and we’ll port those." Microsoft did announce this week that 500,000 developers had downloaded Windows 8 so far.

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Well hopefully
By FITCamaro on 9/19/2011 8:34:24 AM , Rating: 2
They will make it so that through Visual Studio you can write the code once and it'll compile an executable for both.

RE: Well hopefully
By Master Kenobi on 9/19/2011 12:07:13 PM , Rating: 2
Most likely. Microsoft spends quite a bit of effort making sure Visual Studio continues to be a top notch product.

RE: Well hopefully
By gamerk2 on 9/19/2011 1:16:16 PM , Rating: 2
If that were the case, and all developers would be nice enough to re-compile code, then we still wouldn't be using X86 exe's on 64-bit OS's, and Itanium wouldn't have a lack of software support.

RE: Well hopefully
By dark matter on 9/19/2011 5:03:35 PM , Rating: 2
Itanium is a dead product.

Why Microsoft should support it...

RE: Well hopefully
By ViroMan on 9/20/2011 9:55:27 AM , Rating: 2
Ehh.. It was a product that came too soon. People were still too scared/lazy/poor to switch to fully x64.

RE: Well hopefully
By Trisped on 9/20/2011 12:56:42 PM , Rating: 1
There are reasons to keep producing 32bit applications.
If you don't need to address over 4GB of RAM a 32bit program will usually run faster then a 64bit.

The big push to upgrade Windows to 64bit is because the 32bit version can only support 3GB of RAM. That means every program running on your computer must fit into this limited space, including the OS.

RE: Well hopefully
By FITCamaro on 9/20/2011 9:29:54 PM , Rating: 1
I disagree. My development IDE(IntelliJ) doesn't address anywhere near 3GB of RAM. But the 64-bit executable runs far faster for compiling my application than the 32-bit version. Because it can move twice the amount of data in a single operation than 32-bit.

RE: Well hopefully
By estarkey7 on 9/21/2011 1:11:07 PM , Rating: 2
Another Java junkie. I use IntelliJ on the daily so I may jump to the 64 bit version when I go to Windows 7. Do projects still open on the 32 bit system that were created with 64 bit and vice versa?

RE: Well hopefully
By xrodney on 9/21/2011 2:43:03 AM , Rating: 2
Thats not exactly true.
32 bit application on 64 bit os doesn't run as native and have to use some kind of emulation which is decreasing overall performance.
Same goes for for 64bit instructions and computing.

RE: Well hopefully
By TomZ on 9/19/2011 3:24:56 PM , Rating: 2
They will make it so that through Visual Studio you can write the code once and it'll compile an executable for both.

That will work for new apps (using Metro), but any apps you have written in the past targeting Windows will have to be ported or re-written.

I'm sure a lot of Windows developers hoped or assumed that they could recompile their MFC/WinForms/WPF/etc. apps using a newer version of Visual Studio and have them run on ARM. Sounds like that is not going to be the case. That is a big disappointment.

If this is the situation, then Windows 8 on ARM has very little benefit compared to the typical iPad or Android tablet available today. Why bother, quite frankly? Windows 8 on ARM is just going to get caught up in the "race to the bottom" with all the other tablets.

RE: Well hopefully
By someguy123 on 9/19/2011 11:20:47 PM , Rating: 2
This is just another platform to support. You act like this is any different from software on current ARM tablets. There has never been direct compatibility when going from x86 to ARM, but that hasn't stopped people from developing ios exclusive content or porting it on various platforms.

What do you expect them to do, pretend it doesn't exist?

RE: Well hopefully
By Flunk on 9/20/2011 10:32:00 AM , Rating: 2
WPF is really easy to port to WinRT. MFC and Winforms have been deprecated for years, if you're still using them I can't see why you'd expect that they would be supported on the new runtime. Microsoft's pared down the supported tools to keep the OS profile smaller. Paring down Windows to run on tablets requires a lot of cuts, and I think cutting legacy compatibility (apps that would run very poorly anyway) is the best course of action.

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