While Microsoft has been providing a lot of information about windows 8 in general, details about Windows On Arm(WOA) have been few and far between. Most of what has been released pertains to the x86 version of windows 8. However, in a blog post by Microsoft’s Windows head, Steven Sinofsky, there are finally some good nuggets of information to digest. First off, there will be a desktop-like environment available, along with an updated Office Suite 15 and Explorer. This will satisfy those users who want to maintain as seamless a transition from their windows pc to their tablet as possible. The applications are designed to use as little battery power as possible, while also being as touch-friendly as needed on a tablet.
The major push from Microsoft will be to get users to use it’s metro environment. These apps will generally work on both x86 and Arm devices, although they can be written to be specific to only one platform. Working with Qualcomm, Nvidia, and Texas Instruments, Microsoft has striven to provide a stable operating system which can operate easily across all Arm processors. One good point is to have generic drivers for hardware and peripherals, eliminating the problems proprietary drivers cause.
The user interface looks similar in many ways to how android and iOs devices are set up, but it does have some differences. Whether it will be able to challenge either of the two for a significant share of the tablet market remains to be seen. Having windows programs on a tablet will be tempting for many, and by following the example of apple and Google by having it’s own app store, microsoft may be able to establish a foothold in the tablet market.