Six Versions Of Microsoft Windows 8 OS To Emerge

An Intel executive has confirmed that there will be at least six versions of Windows 8 at launch with four targeting ARM partners and two for the Intel architecture.

At CES earlier this year, Steve Ballmer mentioned three companies, Nvidia, Qualcomm and Texas Instruments which means that a fourth unnamed company must have joined the fray (ed : we're inclined to believe that it might be Samsung or LG).

Bloomberg quotes Renee James, head of Intel’s software business, saying at a presentation at Intel's headquarters in Santa Clara, that the world's largest semiconductor company will still keep the upper hand because ARM versions will not run older applications because they are intrinsically incompatible.

She also said that aside from the normal desktop, vanilla Windows 8 range, there will also be one geared towards mobile devices and tablet computers running Windows 8.

We're not sure whether she was referring to Windows Phone 8 - as a derivative of Windows 8 - or an altogether different product.

Microsoft may face some serious issues as it tries to focus on only four core SoC manufacturers where Android caters for them all, indiscriminately.

ARM's infrastructure is broad enough to accommodate architectural differences and it remains to be seen how different the four versions of Windows 8 focusing on the ARM ecosystem will be.