When made available on the first tablet PCs packing ARM processors, Windows 8 might provide a completely different experience when compared to what is available today on x86 devices.
One of the main differences would be the lack of a desktop mode on these devices, although nothing is officially confirmed on the matter for the time being.
The debacle on whether or not Microsoft will allow for such desktop applications to run on ARM devices started ever since the company announced plans to make Windows 8 available for such tablets.
Things seemed to have been put to rest a few months ago, when Microsoft said that the desktop mode would make it to Windows 8 ARM-based tablets too, but apparently the company might have just changed its mind.
Although Microsoft did show desktop apps running on ARM devices at Build in September, changes are that only Metro-styled apps will be available for these tablets.
We already knew that legacy applications will not be supported on Windows 8 ARM-powered tablets, but it seems that the Redmond-based company might actually plan on differentiating platform releases based on the hardware they run on.
Chances are that x86/x64-based Windows 8 tablets would actually arrive on shelves with the Desktop mode enabled, the same as the Samsung tablet showcased at Build did.
However, since this is the first time that Windows arrives on ARM architectures, it makes sense for Microsoft to aim at making it different than the legacy version.
Moreover, it would further prove that the company indeed plans on making the Metro UI a constant feature across new products. Office 15 is already confirmed to arrive with the new UI on top, and other tools and web resources should share a similar fate.
What remains to be seen, however, is whether the Desktop mode will lack only on ARM tablets or it will be removed from all devices based on the new architecture.
If you haven’t met Windows 8 yet, you can download the Developer Preview from Softpedia via this link.