Windows 8 is going to prove nothing but bliss for ARM update, believes ARM Chief Executive Officer Tudor Brown.According to Brown, in excess of 40% of netbooks are expected to be powered by ARM architectures in 2015, a milestone that will only be reached with the help of Windows 8, ARM’s CEO revealed for DigiTimes.
Microsoft first confirmed ARM support in Windows 8 at CES 2011, when the software giant made it clear that the forthcoming version of Windows would play nice with System on a Chip architectures.
The company’s move comes from the need to have Windows 8 run seamlessly on a variety of next generation form factors, beyond traditional PCs, laptops, and netbooks.
The focus on Tablet PCs / slates has never been clearer as at the recent D9 and Computex events where Microsoft demoed Windows 8 running on tablets, and a range of innovations tailored specifically to such devices.
In addition to having Windows 8 push it to over 40% share of the global notebook market in just four years, ARM will also continue to hold the lead in terms of the tablet PC market, with a percentage estimate to reach 85% in 2015.
As far as the netbook segment is concerned, Windows might currently be king after it almost but completely displaced Linux from the dominant position, but Microsoft has a serious competitor from Google.
This month, the first Chromebooks will hit the market featuring the new Chrome OS, a netbook open source operating system build around the Chrome browser.
Brown points out that netbooks featuring Google’s mobile platform, Android failed to gain traction with consumers.
However, the same might not be the case with Chromebooks and Chrome OS, although this still remains to be seen.
Netbooks have traditionally appealed to users that spend most of their time in front of a computer online, and that can easily do without a fully-fledged operating system as Windows.
This is perhaps the main disadvantage of such devices, which do offer their own set of benefits, such as light weights, reduced price and longer battery life.
As far as architecture wars go, ARM is going against CPU makers such as Intel. Earlier this year, Intel representatives did not mind to fire a few shots at ARM, pointing out that just because Windows 8 will support such systems, it doesn’t mean that customers will be able to use their existing applications or hardware due to incompatibility issues, especially around legacy programs.