A recent technical post on the Building Windows 8 blog by Microsoft has re-triggered speculations about whether the ARM version will really have a desktop environment.
Windows 8 On ARM Might Have A Desktop Environment After All
In a recent post published on the Building Windows 8 blog, there’s a lot of talk about power efficiency. Within that long and detailed post is a figure that shows us how power management on SoC devices would work.
SoC stands for ‘System on a Chip’ and covers things like the Texas Instruments OMAP or the Qualcomm Snapdragon. It is a chip that has the processor, memory, controller and graphics processor built into one simple and power efficient unit. Why this matters is because this is what Windows 8 on ARM would be running on. And that means tablets and similar devices.
Coming back to the figure on the blog post, it shows how the SoC based devices will slowly progress to a near sleep like state over a period 240 seconds (4 minutes). Towards the bottom, there are two bars progressing sideways showing when the desktop apps and metro style apps will turn off. Desktop apps turn off after 3 minutes and Metro style apps stay on throughout the given time period.
So the figure clearly states desktop apps will be available on SoC devices. SoC for Windows 8 means only ARM and that’s means desktop apps on tablets! Right? Well, not quite. Intel is also preparing its own SoC, codenamed Medfield, based on the x86 architecture.
However, even if Desktop is available of any or both SoC, it will be very limited in nature because of the tight resource management that mobile devices like tablets have to perform. So don’t expect to run that Adobe Premiere Pro setup you got there. Of course, it is possible that all big developers will come up with lighter versions for the Windows 8 ‘Limited Desktop’ experience on tablets. Just like everything else about Windows 8, it is going to introduce you to a whole lot of new and, hopefully, nice things.