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Microsoft details Windows 8 on ARM tablets at MWC

Posted: , by Daniel P.

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Microsoft details Windows 8 on ARM tablets at MWC
Microsoft's Steven Sinofsky took centerstage at MWC to talk about the Windows 8 Consumer Preview that is available for download to young and old on this very Leap Day. 

Then Mike Anguilo took over to talk about the biggest mystery about Windows 8 so far - how will it behave on tablets with ARM-based chipsets, so that it keeps its essential Windows heritage, and still has the battery life and touch-optimized interface of a mobile OS.

Mike started by holding a tablet with NVIDIA Tegra 3 in his hands, saying that the same things that were shown a little while ago with Win 8 on Intel chipsets, can be done on this tablet as well. He went on to say that Tegra 3, as well as the next generation of Snapdragon and TI OMAP have been certified for Win 8 tablets, along with Intel's Clover Trail platform.

Microsoft details Windows 8 on ARM tablets at MWC
Microsoft details Windows 8 on ARM tablets at MWC
Microsoft details Windows 8 on ARM tablets at MWC

The code sharing goes as deep as Internet Explorer, and Windows Store, the application shop for Win 8, will be handling the downloads, automatically sending the x86 or the ARM version to your device. Best of all, Office 15 will be on WoA tablets, heavily optimized for the new touch-y world. There is also a new class of drivers made for ARM chipsets - for mice, keyboards, printers and so on. This is huge news, making ARM-based slates something more than a toy.

Since both the ARM tablets and the thin and light ultrabooks that are coming with Win 8 will be traveling more now that they are so compact, Microsoft has paid special attention to connectivity. There is a new panel with connectivity switches, including airplane mode, and the tablets, for example, will stay connected even in standby state. The system has a cost-efficient connectivity mode, which switches seamlessly between Wi-Fi networks, if available, and cellular data, thus preventing you from hitting that data cap too quickly. 

Apps have also been heavily optimized, so when Mike Anguilo ran a bunch of the default ones, the system didn't stutter, and he didn't have to close any of them, they get suspended in the background, if needed. 

Microsoft seems fully aware that touch has changed the interaction paradigm, and has built Win 8 from the ground up for touch - it even demonstrated it on a 86-inch PC, basically a giant screen allowing multiple points of touch input and even drawing on it with a pen. We didn't see a hint of Ballmer at the keynote, and Sinofsky wore jeans and his coolest sneakers. Hmmm.

Microsoft details Windows 8 on ARM tablets at MWC
Microsoft details Windows 8 on ARM tablets at MWC
Microsoft details Windows 8 on ARM tablets at MWC

14 Comments
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posted on 29 Feb 2012, 10:00 7

1. android_hitman (Posts: 611; Member since: 07 Jul 2010)


dammit... in 2013 this will be better than android and i will have a big dilema ....

posted on 29 Feb 2012, 10:02 2

3. cepcamba (Posts: 717; Member since: 27 Feb 2012)


Possible, but not really sure about that.

posted on 29 Feb 2012, 10:37 4

5. Reality (Posts: 3; Member since: 29 Feb 2012)


This is quality software, not like others which are just designed to meet deadlines.

posted on 29 Feb 2012, 10:00 7

2. cepcamba (Posts: 717; Member since: 27 Feb 2012)


Hmmmm. Dual-boot (android/windows) would be nice. One for gaming and another for productivity. :p

posted on 29 Feb 2012, 13:30 2

12. speckledapple (Posts: 879; Member since: 29 Sep 2011)


That is what I want. It can even have ubuntu on the side for good measure.

posted on 29 Feb 2012, 13:53

13. cepcamba (Posts: 717; Member since: 27 Feb 2012)


Yeah! According to some earlier news, Ubuntu is already on it's way to Android devices courtesy of a dock. This will provide you with a full desktop OS. It might take some time though for Ubuntu to create a touch version of their OS.

posted on 29 Feb 2012, 10:17 8

4. drahmad (Posts: 478; Member since: 20 Aug 2011)


Get back to work Apple.

posted on 29 Feb 2012, 10:59 2

6. Bluesky02 (Posts: 1439; Member since: 05 Dec 2011)


If only Nokia 808 could dual boot with WP7/Symbian...

posted on 29 Feb 2012, 11:04

7. jove39 (Posts: 1283; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)


Waiting...

posted on 29 Feb 2012, 12:29

8. McLTE (Posts: 699; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)


This COULD take the pad concept into a whole new and great direction.. IF, and that's a HUGE if.. MS doesn't price things so high that nobody will take the plunge.

If the win8 tablets are anywhere near the pricing as the iPad.. forget it.

posted on 29 Feb 2012, 12:54 1

9. darkvadervip (Posts: 318; Member since: 08 Dec 2010)


I agree the specs are great but I'm tired of over priced tabs that are just big phones in general like android tabs. But I'm willing to pay comfortably 400 off contract and $300 on contract if so.

posted on 29 Feb 2012, 13:00 2

10. 7thspaceman (Posts: 1085; Member since: 14 Feb 2011)


Windows 8 OS and the Blue stacks App that enables a windows computers to run Android apps will be a big thing in the the Tablet world. It means that when the windows 8 tablet comes to market it can loaded with Apps from Windows and Andriod sources thus making them worth buying and very useful for many many things. Windows 8 tablets wont be dud devices.

posted on 29 Feb 2012, 13:09

11. Lboogey6 (Posts: 266; Member since: 31 Jan 2012)


ok ok ok i need someone to help me maybe im not a big computer guy but what will windows tablets do different than android and ipad tablets?? the specs mentioned didnt exactly blow me away i see a new UI but people are super excited for .....?

posted on 29 Feb 2012, 14:40 1

14. Croxy (Posts: 55; Member since: 06 Dec 2011)


Damn, can someone link me a video conference of this? :) These news are great!

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