Microsoft is almost ready to send out a stable version of Windows 8 on ARM to various developers, which means it might in fact be ready for the consumer preview that is coming up later this month.
Windows 8 for ARM Nearing The Developer Preview Stage
Looks like Microsoft is almost done developing Windows 8 for ARM. Sources close to the matter apparently told CNET that the company would soon begin seeding the build to various developers. That would mean it is reaching the developer preview stage that the Intel side of Windows 8 reached late last year.
Windows 8 on ARM or WOA as it may be abbreviated, will change the way we use Windows on tablets thanks to equally the new Metro UI and the great chip designs from ARM that are designed for enhanced battery efficiency and performance.
The source to talked to CNET on the issue had recently come in to contact with a device made by a high-profile PC-maker that was running the new OS on ARM. According to him, the device was running smoothly and seemed impressively stable.
The Windows 8 running on ARM was initially going to have only the Metro UI but it seems now that it will have a Desktop area too. However, it is only for Internet Explorer, Office and Windows functions. Since the legacy apps were not written for ARM architecture, they will not be able to run on ARM anyway. And for Windows to run them, Microsoft will have to deploy a compatibility layer that is similar to what the Windows Emulator or WINE does for running Windows Apps on Linux flavors. But doing that would cost precious resources that tables don’t have the luxury of spending.
Microsoft has also confirmed that WOA would not have a standard version and it will be modified according to the manufacturer. Usually that would mean a lot of fragmentation like what Android is going through right now. However, given Microsoft’s dedication to keep things the same across platform, it is hopefully going to be somewhat standardized in terms of overall user experience.