Intel’s general manager of software and service Renee James is not worried at the fact that Windows 8 will be available for ARM-based PC because it will not run legacy applications. Windows 8 for Intel’s x86 will.
During Intel’s Investor Meeting 2011 in Santa Clara, California on Tuesday, James assured that the new Windows, commonly referred as Windows 8, on x86 will have “Windows 7 mode” which allows for legacy applications to work.
[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, said James. They'll run all of their old applications, all of their old files – there'll be no issue.
On the other hand, ARM-based computers will not have such backward-compatibility, because the architecture of ARM is different from that of Windows’ x86. James added that Windows in ARM will not work multi platforms, which means the customer has to get different versions of Windows for different system.
“[ARM is] 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.”
It is said that ARM will be focusing more on smartphones and the tablet market, which Microsoft needs to keep up with far advanced Apple.
“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,” said James.