The matter of whether existing Windows applications will run on Windows 8 on ARM – putting them on tablets – has been kicked back and forth a lot this year. Intel this spring pointed out that Windows applications running on x86 for PCs won't run on Windows 8 on ARM.
Intel senior vice president Renée James, speaking at an investor event, said that Microsoft is planning four Windows versions for ARM systems and said these would not be backwards compatible and would only run on their specific Systems-on-a-Chip architecture.
This prompted Redmond to fire back with a statement calling James' claims "factually inaccurate and unfortunately misleading". It didn't say which part of James' comments were inaccurate and misleading, however.
For its part, Microsoft has hedged on the subject of application portability. The executive running the Windows 8 roadshow kicked off 2011 by also pointing out x86 programs don't run on ARM – but went on to say that compatibility won't be a major barrier in Windows 8, with Microsoft already getting a native version of Word running on ARM.