This week, after over a year of silence in the face of persistent and understandable questions from customers, tech enthusiasts and the press, Microsoft finally revealed more about its plans for Windows 8 on ARM or, as the company now calls it, WOA. I'm grateful that Microsoft answered a ton of questions about this release. There are, however, a few more questions too.
The WOA revelations come courtesy of a compulsively long blog post on Microsoft's official mouthpiece for Windows 8 information, the Building Windows 8 Blog. Hopefully, that team's code is a lot tighter than its writing, but regardless here's the pertinent info in about 20 percent of the space, along with some additional commentary.
As a backgrounder, Microsoft announced its intention to port the client version of Windows 8 to the ARM architecture in January 2011, about 13 months ago. At the time, the company noted that it would make Windows 8 versions for "System on a Chip" (SoC) architectures from both the x86 (Intel/AMD) and ARM (NVIDIA, Qualcomm, and TI) worlds, and that both would support the majority of Windows 8 technologies and be largely compatible. The company showed off a special version of Office 2010 running on prototype ARM hardware, but did not promise to release Office for ARM systems. Instead, this was "a demonstration of the potential of Windows platform capabilities on ARM architecture."