Microsoft dishes official details on Windows 8 for tablets - desktop UI included!

Microsoft dishes official details on Windows 8 for tablets - desktop UI included!
If it seems like just yesterday that we were reporting on Windows 8 tablet rumors…that’s because it was. Today Microsoft has seen fit to pull back the curtain on a huge swath of official details about Windows for Arm devices (or WOA), confirming some rumors, and illuminating the effort the company has gone to in order to make Windows 8 tablets feel like “no compromise” Windows devices.

First, they confirmed that ARM tablets will indeed come with both the desktop UI and the Metro UI available, with the end user being able to switch between them. This is consistent with rumors that circulated earlier this week, but appears to be a reversal from what was thought a couple months ago. Whether the latter was a baseless rumor, or whether Microsoft has itself changed its mind on the subject isn’t known for sure.

Also confirmed is that you won’t be able to run anything else on a WOA device – Windows on Arm devices are intended to be used as integrated consumer electronic devices, not the more self-service and open nature of traditional PCs. As such there will be no software distribution of WOA, and all updates and apps will run through Microsoft and the Windows Store. Packaging will apparently make it clear that you are buying a WOA product rather than an x86/64 Windows 8 device.

Despite the software homogeneity, Microsoft says it will support a broad range of hardware solutions, indicating that SoCs from Texas Instruments, Qualcomm, and NVIDIA will all be available in the first wave of Windows 8 tablets.  The first tablets are intended to ship when the rest of Windows 8 is released – a timeframe that is believed to be in late Q3 or early Q4 of this year.

If you want to read an extraordinary amount of extra detail, much of it aimed at developers, on the process of adapting Windows for the ARM architecture definitely check out the source link. Otherwise, we’ll keep you posted when any juicy new details are revealed.

source: Building Windows 8

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