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Friday, May 20, 2011

Intel and Microsoft Spar Over ARM and Windows 8

Intel and Microsoft Spar Over ARM and Windows 8

Intel and Microsoft are a big part of each other’s install base, but in the last couple of days they’ve been at odds over Windows 8. It started when Intel senior vice president Renee James made claims about the ARM version of Windows 8—an important step toward getting the OS on more tablets. James said that there will be four separate ARM editions of the OS, and that they won’t support each other’s applications or any software from previous Windows releases. Such limited compatibility doesn’t sound particularly good for developers and consumers alike. As you might expect, Microsoft replied with some stern wordson the subject.

Let’s pick apart Microsoft's response.

Intel’s statements during yesterday’s Intel Investor Meeting about Microsoft’s plans for the next version of Windows were factually inaccurate and unfortunately misleading. From the first demonstrations of Windows on SoC, we have been clear about our goals and have emphasized that we are at the technology demonstration stage. As such, we have no further details or information at this time.

The most important part of Microsoft’s denial is the bit about “the technology demonstration stage.” If the company is emphasizing that their code isn’t finalized, it suggests that some of James’ statement might currently be true. And if that’s the case, the inaccuracy of the Intel claims is subject to how many compatibility issues Microsoft resolves before launch. Then again, Intel’s chips are a direct competitor to ARM, so they’ve got an bias for information that makes their SoC rivals look bad


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