x86 versus

  • Windows on ARMWindows on ARM isn't new: from Windows Phone to Windows RT to Windows IoT, Microsoft has had multiple systems that take Windows beyond the familiar Intel and AMD processors. Older versions of Windows ran on PowerPC, Alpha, Itanium, and MIPS, after all, and in 2009 an unofficial internal project had Windows 7 running on ARM.

  • Windows on ARMWindows RT for ARM may have been a resounding failure but, Microsoft never stopped trying to put its ubiquitous PC operating system on RISC (reduced instruction set computers) devices. With the launch of Windows 10 on ARM, the Redmond-based software giant will now hope to finally get a foothold in a market thus far dominated by Google and Apple with Android and iOS respectively.

  • Windows on ARMMicrosoft just launched a version of Windows 10 that will run on low-powered ARM hardware. Unlike Windows RT, the version of Windows 8 that powered the original Surface and Surface 2, this is a full version of Windows 10 with an emulation layer that allows it to run traditional desktop apps from outside the Windows Store.

  • Windows on ARMOver the past week, I’ve had the fortune to play with both Microsoft’s Surface 2 and the Asus T100 Transformer Book. These are very similar devices — convertible laptops with detachable keyboards — except for one big and fundamentally life-altering difference: Where the Surface 2 is powered by Nvidia’s ARM-based Tegra 4 SoC, the Transformer Book has Intel’s x86 Bay Trail under the hood.

  • Windows on ARMYou might look at the Surface RT and the Surface Pro devices that Microsoft has launched and think that both of them are supposed to be tablets. After all, both have basically the same tablet-style form factor, with a 10.6 inch touchscreen, and both devices have optional Touch and Type covers to serve as keyboards. So that makes the Surface RT and Surface Pro tablets, right?

  • Windows on ARMWith the release of Windows 8, Microsoft has hedged its bets. In an effort to make its OS more suitable for tablets, it simultaneously released RT, the first version of Windows to support the ARM chips found in most smartphones and tablets. While Windows RT promises uncompromising battery life, it's not capable of running "legacy" Windows apps — despite the confusing Desktop mode.

  • Windows on ARMHere is a bit of interesting news we learned today. If you purchased a Surface RT and are interested in buying a Surface Pro, Microsoft will offer you a credit for your trade-in towards the purchase of a Pro. We called two Microsoft's stores and both confirmed that there is a deal in place but required us to come in to learn more about the offer and would not give us more details over the phone.

  • Windows on ARMSince tablets these days are amazingly powerful little devices, many people are starting to wonder if they can replace a regular laptop completely. Especially now that there are some great Windows 8 and Windows RTtablets available, the prospect of working entirely from a tablet is indeed looking more likely.

  • Windows on ARMWhen Microsoft started its marketing campaign for the Windows RT version of the Surface tablet in October, it released a video that showed the device being used by a variety of people. With the exception of someone using the included version of Office RT for a few seconds, the video shows the tablet as a consumer device for fun: playing games, watching movies and webcam chats with friends.

  • Windows on ARMLatest data from advertisement network AdDuplex reveals usage statistics of both Windows 8 and Windows RT in the first month of 2013. Information presented in this report was collected on January 14th (112 Windows Store apps running the AdDuplex SDK). As well as usages, Windows RT devices and multiple geographic locations are also included.

  • Windows on ARMYou might already know that there are two different versions of Windows 8 (actually, three, but the differences between Windows 8 Pro and Windows 8 aren't huge). Those are called Windows 8 and Windows RT, and Microsoft hasn't exactly done the greatest job at informing everyone what the difference is. There's a lot of confusion out there, which is a shame, because the difference is very important and, as it turns out, not all that complicated.

  • Windows on ARMAt Microsoft's shareholder meeting last week, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said, "Sometimes getting innovation right across hardware and software is difficult unless you do both of them." He's right, of course – innovative software is set up by equally innovative hardware.

  • Windows on ARMThere is a diverse array of tablet options to daze and amaze shoppers this holiday season. Microsoft has a solid contender with its current Surface tablet, but it runs the more limited Windows RT operating system that was designed for use with ARM-based processors. I've already examined how the Surface RT beats the iPad, and how the iPad beats the Surface RT, but how what about tablets that run the more powerful Windows 8 Pro OS?

  • Windows on ARMWhen Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer admitted that sales of the company's much-hyped Surface tablet had been "modest", it did little more than raise a few eyebrows. Then, a few days later, the chief of the company's Windows division, Steven Sinofsky, resigned.

  • Windows on ARMFolks, we're standing on the edge of a cliff. Behind us is the comfortable confines of the PC world of old, desktops and laptops in all their familiar guises. But ahead, we see the blue sky and uncertainty of an amazing range of Windows PC and device types, with varying architectures and capabilities. It's a future of amazing possibility, but it's also confusing.

  • Windows on ARMFuturemark has announced that the next version of 3DMark, its popular benchmarking software, will offer cross platform testing capabilities on Windows, Windows RT, Android and iOS devices. With three all new tests Futuremark says 3DMark can be used with the full range of hardware from smartphones and tablets, to notebooks and home PCs, to the latest high-end, multi-GPU gaming desktops. Futuremark expects to launch the new 3DMark before the end of the year.

  • Windows on ARMGetting to grips with Windows RT's development environments, and converting full-strength Windows 8 apps down to its cut-down RT partner is "nuanced" work that requires "quite a lot [developers] will need to "implement specifically," Microsoft cloud partner Aditi's CTO Wade Wegner has told Computing.

  • Windows on ARMWe've already established that one of the Surface's most distinctive features is its Windows RT operating system, designed to run on hardware driven by ARM's processor architecture. Experientially, Windows RT is very much like the x86 version of Windows 8 we reviewed in The Definitive Windows 8 Review And User Guide, sharing the same Windows 8 UI, Start screen, and multi-touch gesture support.

  • Windows on ARMHollywood often withholds badly conceived movies from reviewers so that bad press doesn't adversely affect the opening weekend box office. So it was with Surface with Windows RT, for me at least: Microsoft refused to let me even peek at this machine ahead of the launch day. And although the Surface is no dud -- in fact, it's very well made -- Surface RT is no PC replacement.

  • Windows on ARMWith the launch of Windows 8, you might not realize that there are actually two new versions of the software. One for regular computers and one for portable devices. Here's what each does.


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Windows on ARM - Windows RT