Redmond, Wash. - Microsoft's continuing effort to bull its
way into the tablet PC space took a step forward today with the software maker
announcing Windows on ARM (WOA).
Microsoft's Steven Sinofsky, president, Windows and Windows
Live division, called WOA the latest addition to the Windows family, ranking it
with Windows Server and Windows Phone. Sinofsky used his blog
to announce the news.
WOA will allow the upcoming Windows 8 operating system to
work with the ARM-based processors by Nvidia, Texas Instruments and Qualcomm.
WOA is also fully compatible with the ultra-low-voltage processors being
developed by Intel for the tablet space.
The first WOA-equipped, ARM-based devices would be expected
to ship at the same time other Windows 8 computers. Microsoft has still not
named an official Windows 8 launch date, but the consumer beta release for the
OS on the x86/64 platform will be available for download by the end of
Sinofsky said using WOA will have the feel as using Windows
8 on a full-fledged PC. The user interface will start and apps will launch the
"WOA can support all new Metro style apps, including apps from Microsoft
for mail, calendaring, contacts, photos, and storage. WOA also
includes industry-leading support for hardware-accelerated HTML5 with Internet
Explorer 10," he said.
WOA will support several Office applications that have been
revamped for an ARM environment. The applications, code-named Office 15,
included Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote.