Windows 8 on ARM, dubbed WOA, to include Office apps for tablets
Many want the PowerPoint and Excel apps they are used to on the desktop
Computerworld - Windows 8 on ARM, dubbed WOA by Microsoft, could offer a big "Whoa!" moment for workers wanting to run Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint and other Office apps on a touchscreen tablet.
To some workers, a touchscreen tablet with Office apps from Microsoft can't arrive soon enough. Reportedly, it will arrive late this year.
"A lot of business users could quickly become tablet users to get to Office apps," said Brian Reed, the vice president of products at BoxTone, a mobile device software management company. "The big [apps] that matter are spreadsheets [with Excel] and PowerPoint. Nice presentations are hard to do with third-party apps now on iPads and Android tablets."
Reed foresees many healthcare institutions replacing old desktops with tablets for the sake of the portability. With the addition of familiar Office apps, a Microsoft tablet could be a hit in that industry especially, he said.
Intel and AMD are building chips for Windows 8 computers as well, but the use of the ARM architecture, already widely used in smartphones, was announced Thursday by Microsoft.
In a blog, Microsoft detailed how Windows 8 will run on ARM for various form factors, including tablets, laptops, ultrabooks and desktops, and said the OS will include new desktop versions of the Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote, codenamed "Office 15."
The combo of WOA and Office 15 on a touchscreen tablet is what has many industry observers excited.
"Microsoft will have Office apps for ARM running on the desktop mode and they will support touch," said Al Hilwa, an analyst at IDC. "That can be a huge differentiator for Microsoft, especially with business customers."
Microsoft's blog notes that WOA will run the Windows desktop interface, not just the Metro interface, which is expected to also please IT shops. Preston Gralla, a Computerworld blogger, noted that the WOA move shows that Windows 8 is primarily aimed at mobile devices such as tablets and "shows that Microsoft recognizes its future isn't based solely on traditional PCs."
Hilwa said it appears Microsoft is making a distinction between the amount of touch support that will occur in a Metro-style interface and a desktop interface, adding that Microsoft has to further clarify its intentions.
It's possible that Microsoft will deliver Intel- or AMD-based tablets from Microsoft before WOA tablets, Hilwa added. Both companies "are working hard on improving the mobile aspects of their chips at breakneck speed."
Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Perspective: Microsoft risks security reputation ruin by retiring XP
- Microsoft plans to patch critical under-attack IE bug next week
- Microsoft reaches RTM milestone for Windows 8.1 update
- OS upgrades: Cheap is better than pricey, free is better than cheap
- No special treatment for China on XP, patches end April 8 in the PRC, too
- Microsoft ships Office 2013 SP1 the old-fashioned way
- Microsoft's 'go-low' play puts Windows revenue on the line
- Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols: Windows 7 lives!
- Users mock Microsoft for asking their help on XP-to-Windows 8.1 upgrades
- Microsoft concedes Windows 8.1 needs more for mouse, keyboard customers
Read more about Mobile Apps in Computerworld's Mobile Apps Topic Center.
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- The Critical Role of Support in Your Enterprise Mobility Management Strategy Most business leaders underestimate the importance of tech support when they choose an EMM solution. Here's what to put on your checklist.
- Separating Work and Personal at the Platform Level: How BlackBerry Balance Works BlackBerry® Balance™ separates work from personal on the same mobile device, right at a platform level. Find out how it can work for...
- Protection for Every Enterprise: How BlackBerry Security Works Get an IT-level review of BlackBerry® Security, addressing data leakage protection, certified encryption, containerization and much more.
- Future Focus: What's Coming in Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) Find out why Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solutions that are truly future-ready must be designed to enable Machine-to-Machine (M2M) capabilities and much more.
- Live Webcast On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy...
- Live Webcast Unmasking the Differences between Consumer and Enterprise File Sync & Share The consumerization of IT combined with the rapid pace of the modern mobile workplace is forcing enterprise IT teams to evaluate file sync...
- Live Webcast Workforce Mobilization for Improved Productivity A mobility research director from Aberdeen discusses reasons for extending legacy applications to mobile devices, and an integration strategist from Attachmate shows how...
- Getting Ready for BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10.2 Find out how BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10 helps organizations address the full spectrum of EMM challenges, while balancing the needs of both the...
- Containerization Options: How to Choose the Best DLP Solution for Your Organization This webcast outlines a framework for making the right choice when it comes to containerization approaches, along with the pros and cons of... All Mobile/Wireless White Papers | Webcasts