Windows 8 All About ARM: What's In It For Windows 8?


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Many people have likely heard that Windows 8 is also being designed for ARM. Many such people have likely asked themselves what is ARM?

ARM processors power today's modern mobile computing devices. Whether we're talking about iPhones, iPads, Google Android phones, Android Pads, Windows Smart Phones, or Next Generation Tablet PCs, when you buy or download an "app" for your iPhone or Android, you are buying a program for the ARM processor.

ARM processors have been developed in Great Britain and have revolutionized computing to some degree. That is because these are considered and classified as embedded processors. Under this type of architecture, the processor is smaller, but can perform many operations that a similar desktop PC processor can do today. However, ARM processors are typically not as strong as today's modern desktop PC processors. They still lack the processing power needed to run big and powerful applications.

You may be familiar with the concept of dual core processors and quad core processors. These are computer processors with multi-core technology. That is, they function as processors with multiple cores, and by doing so, appear in the operating system almost as "multiple processors". They increase the number of calculations a single-core processor could ever do. For instance, a dual core processor can perform double the calculations of a single-core processor without adding a new processor to the computer. For servers, this meant that systems traditionally built with multiple processors could either scale back or make use of multiple processors and multiple cores. This, combined with virtualization technology, has revolutionized real estate requirements in datacenters nationwide.

Why is ARM so important and what is its relationship to Windows 8? Windows 8 will also be released on ARM systems. That includes prototype desktops that run ARM processors. But most importantly, Windows 8 will run on ARM processors nearly across the board. When Windows 8 launches its app store, this will become a big deal. There may even be cross-platform and cross-architecture design between standard Intel processors and ARM processors to make it possible to run both ARM applications and traditional Intel (and AMD-based) x86 and x64 applications.

So you will be able to run Windows 8 (the entire operating system) on an ARM device, if it is capable. And from all indications, it will be very capable.

From what we can tell, there will be a special edition of Windows 8 released for ARM processors and a regular version for standard computer systems. However, the power of the ARM architecture and the processors that come after it mean that things will never be the same again. Checking out Microsoft Surface one more time, computer users (i.e. pretty much everyone at this point), should not be surprised to see a big advancement in smart devices a few months and years after Windows 8 is released. This will include all sorts of new human interface devices that have embedded processors in them. Smart phones, and even tables (not tablets - tables) seem to be becoming reality.

What's In Your Phone: Details on the ARM Processor