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Intel say that Windows on ARM won’t support ‘legacy applications’

Microsoft will be porting Windows 8 to support the ARM Architecture but the general manager of Intel’s software and services group has said that she isn’t going to be losing sleep over a competitive market losing battle in the future.

Renée James spoke at the Intel’s Investor Meeting 2011 in Santa Clara, California and she pointed out that the next version of Windows, known as version ‘8’ will be available for both ARM and X86. They will be a Windows 8 traditional’ version which will run on x86 processors and will be able to handle legacy applications, meaning currently available x86 based programs for the platform. There will also be a separate version which will run on ARM processors.

According to James, Windows 8 will also include a ‘Windows 7 mode’.

“[Windows 8 traditional] means that our customers, or anyone who has an Intel-based or an x86-based product, will be able to run either Windows 7 mode or Windows 8 mode,” she said. “They’ll run all of their old applications, all of their old files – there’ll be no issue.”

She added “On ARM, there’ll be the new experience, which is very specifically around the mobile experience, specifically around tablet and some limited clamshell, with no legacy OS. Our competitors will not be running legacy applications. Not now. Not ever.”

“We will also be able to run that new experience. So for an Intel user, we’ll kind of have the best of both worlds. So we think we’re extraordinarily well-positioned in Windows 8.”

The strength of the relationship is a key point for Intel, and James said that they have been working with Intel for 20 years and have been a key partner during that time.

Renée James: Intel

“We have an on-site development team in Redmond that actually works deep inside the OS to make sure that the platforms, and the features, and the new instructions – whatever new thing we’re inventing – is ready to go at the time of introduction of the latest Microsoft environment.”

So how good is Windows 8? Should people be that exciting, especially with the fantastic Windows 7 already adopted by the enthusiast audience. “I’m very excited about it. We’ve been working on it for a long time. There’s a lot of exciting new features and things about it that I think are going to be great for users, great for the PC and tablet industry.”

“Windows 8 for x86 will run legacy, Windows 8 for x86 will run SoC. There will be four Windows 8 SoCs for ARM. Each one will run for that specific ARM environment, and they will run new applications or cloud-based applications. They are neither forward- nor backward-compatible between their own architecture – different generations of a single vendor – nor are they compatible across different vendors. Each one is a unique stack.”

KitGuru says: Intel clearly have the advantage, but the upcoming support for ARM is groundbreaking nonetheless.

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