Windows on ARM will be 'huge,' exec says
With multiple devices expected to run Microsoft's new mobile OS, future is bright, says ARM executive VP
Computerworld - BARCELONA -- The potential of Windows 8 on ARM has excited tablet and laptop users globally but none more than the U.K. firm that provides the reference design for processors used in most smartphones and in iOS and Android tablets.
"Windows on ARM (WOA) will be hugely successful and is a huge opportunity for ARM," said Lance Howarth, executive vice president of ARM marketing in an interview at Mobile World Congress here.
Howarth spoke to Computerworld just hours before the Windows 8 Consumer Release event scheduled today for a hotel near the conference. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is expected to speak at the event.
ARM is especially encouraged that Windows 8 is slated to appear on multiple devices, at least according to a plan set out in a now-famous blog post by Microsoft's Windows chief Steven Sinofsky on Feb. 9.
The blog said WOA would run on tablets, laptops, ultrabooks and desktops.
The Windows 8 event Wednesday at the Hotel Miramar in Barcelona is slated to last a full two hours, and won't be webcast as Microsoft often does with its major announcements.
Howarth confirmed that Microsoft will release the Consumer Preview software for download in conjunction with the event, or possibly just before.
Windows 8 "breaks the Wintel architecture," Howarth said. "Microsoft will support Office on Arm through Metro and desktop versions and you will be able to move freely between the two with full compatibility."
The consumer release can't be downloaded on ARM hardware, obviously because there is none yet, Howarth noted.
"There's no difference between ARM and Intel with respect to Windows 8," he added.
Howarth noted that while WOA will be a boon for ARM, the company already has 270 different partners using the reference design to build chips.
In 2011, 8 billion chips based on ARM technology were built globally, and only one-third were used on phones. The majority were used in other devices, including embedded chips that control machines, he said.
Working with the likes of Apple, Google and now Microsoft, ARM must be careful with customer-partners, supporting them and agreeing not to share their secrets, Howarth added.
"We describe ourselves as a neutral party, the Switzerland of the semiconductor world," Howarth said. "Our partnerships are based on trust."
ARM's mobile success comes in part due to its ability to show strong energy efficiency. While Intel has been able to produce an efficient Atom mobile chip, the Medfield, Howarth said that it "is two generations behind ARM ... on energy efficiency."
ARM, with about 2,000 employees around the world, has had about 6 workers stationed in Seattle to work directly with Microsoft on Windows Mobile and its other OSs. The work with Microsoft started about a dozen years ago, he said .
Howarth acknowledged that the ARM brand isn't widely known, even though it's very widely used. "We have what we call anonymous ubiquity," he said. "We're everywhere, but nobody knows it."
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 email@example.com.
- QuickPoll: What will be the biggest change to smartphones this year?
- Broadcom readies chips optimized for Android 4.0
- Wi-Fi, small cells could disrupt mobile
- Altair Semiconductor finds a place among mobile innovators
- Nvidia expects to do well in Windows-on-ARM race
- More smartphones are getting HD Voice
- Microsoft shows Windows on ARM tablet designs
- Windows on ARM will be 'huge,' exec says
- Nokia aims to appeal to developers
- Google once considered issuing currency
Read more about Mobile/Wireless in Computerworld's Mobile/Wireless Topic Center.
- Leverage the Power of APIs to Turbocharge Your Mobile Strategy: 7 Steps to a Successful API Program In this guide, Intel® Services-which offers industry-leading API management solutions for over 150 top enterprises, including Best Buy, Netflix, Expedia, ESPN, and The...
- Mission Critical Cloud Powers Freesat Website, Mobile App When subscription-free satellite TV service Freesat needed a scalable, cost-effective infrastructure it found the disaster recovery and security features it needed with Peer...
- Bring Your Own Device: From Security to Success Download this e-Book to learn best practices for executing a BYOD policy.
- Securing Mobile App Data - Comparing Containers and App Wrappers Analysts agree that Mobile Device Management (MDM) is not enough when it comes to securing app data. Although it remains a critical component...
- API Management: The Key to Improving the Consumer Travel Experience Join PhoCusWright's Senior Technology Analyst, Norm Rose, as he shares his insights on how travel suppliers and intermediaries can improve industry data flow...
- Don't Believe the Hype: Not All Containers are Created Equal Hear executives discuss the 3 C's of Secure Mobility-content, credentials, and configurations-and learn the inherent security risks to your organization of using MDM... All Mobile/Wireless White Papers | Webcasts