At CeBIT 2011, we went around the stands from some of the biggest component manufacturers in the world and asked them a simple question, would you consider bringing out ARM products (barebones, laptops, tablets, motherboards) for Windows 8?
The answer was a unanimous yes; like Microsoft, the same firms that have been faithful Intel and AMD partners for years are prepared to explore other territories as soon as Windows 8 will go live.
Technically, many big brands are already tinkling with ARM, mostly because they manufacture ARM-based tablets (Asus, MSI, Gigabyte just to name a few) which means that making the jump should not be difficult.
One senior VP who wished to remain anonymous told us that they would explore the possibility if ARM came up with interesting products that are compatible with Windows 8.
Microsoft's next operating system which is tabled to be available from 2012 will, for the first time in more than a decade, offer the same coherent user interface across more than one architecture.
Concretely that might mean swapping x86 for ARM in the traditional crop of products; an ARM motherboard, like the one that ST-Ericsson currently sells to developers, might come with everything integrated plus common features like GbE, SPDIF, HDMI, VGA, audio out, SD Card reader, SATA, PCIe etc.
In addition, ARM's mobile pedigree give it a leg up on x86 because of the level of integration and power consumption; therefore expects innovative things like support for 3D, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS, 3G Modem, NFC, mobile TV tuner out of the box.
And because the ARM ecosystem is so vibrant, expect some serious competition from the onset with cheaper than x86 prices across the board for some decent amount of performance.