Speaking at the annual CES conference in Las Vegas, Microsoft’s CEO, Steve Ballmer, announced that future Windows iterations will support the ARM microprocessor architecture, starting with Windows 8. The news will somewhat irk the Intel camp, who’ve enjoyed decades of Windows running solely on their x86 platform (in an ‘alliance/monopoly’ nicknamed ‘Wintel’).
The move suggests that Microsoft are aiming to converge onto the portable computing market, where the vast majority of those devices are equipped with ARM processors. ARM processors make an excellent choice for portable devices due to their low power requirements and low cost, in comparison to the offerings from Intel and AMD. In addition, Microsoft also aim to produce an ARM-native version of their Office suite, which could potentially assist the success of an ARM-based OS port.