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ARMed Windows 8 Won't Support x86 Software Says Microsoft

Microsoft has confirmed, via its President of Windows Division, Steven Sinofsky (opens in new tab), that Windows 8 for ARM will not support x86 software; this, of course, shouldn't come as a surprise.

Back in May, Renée James from Intel pointed out to investors that Windows 8 for ARM won't be compatible with traditional x86 applications, something which Microsoft qualified as being "inaccurate and unfortunately misleading"

Sinofsky pointed specifically to battery life being an issue for applications that are ported from a traditional x86 environment to an ARM system on chip and touted Metro style apps as a potential solution.

This, he reckoned might be a massive market opportunity for developers, which could make money developing for both platforms.

Obviously, the "losers" would be businesses or customers looking to switch from one hardware platform to another; witness the Mac vs Intel division.

The difference though is the emergence of web-based applications and services which make the choice of operating system irrelevant.

Indeed, there's a valid USP in selling a solution that's compatible across board rather than different ones for diverging platforms.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.