Microsoft Details Windows-On-ARM Development Efforts

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Windows 8 will sport a new look-and-feel with its "Metro-style" user interface and Sinofsky disclosed that WOA would support the same Metro applications as Windows 8, including Microsoft mail, calendaring, contacts, photos and storage software. Metro-style applications sold through the Windows Store will support both WOA and Windows 8 on x86/64.

WOA "has a very high degree of commonality and very significant shared code with Windows 8," Sinofsky said.

"Using WOA 'out of the box' will feel just like using Windows 8 on x86/64," Sinofsky wrote. "You will sign in the same way. You will start and launch apps the same way. You will use the new Windows Store the same way. You will have access to the intrinsic capabilities of Windows, from the new Start screen and Metro style apps and Internet Explorer, to peripherals, and if you wish, the Windows desktop with tools like Windows File Explorer and desktop Internet Explorer. It will have the same fast and fluid experience. In other words, we’ve designed WOA to look and feel just like you would expect."

WOA will support the next release of Microsoft Office, code-named Office 15, and also will support "hardware-accelerated HTML5" with Internet Explorer 10.

"Windows 8 on ARM will not run old apps even if they are recompiled," Hilwa said in his commentary. "Microsoft will control both Metro-style and desktop apps for WOA through its app store and will require developers to rewrite existing apps to the new APIs for the desktop as well."

While the blog post focused on Microsoft's WOA development work with the ARM chip manufacturers, Sinfosky said Microsoft's Windows 8 development efforts for x86/64 processors has resulted in "a deeper level of collaboration with Intel and AMD on the full breadth of PC offerings than in any past release."

"We could not be more excited or supportive of the new products from Intel and AMD that will be part of Windows 8 – across a full spectrum of PC form factors including tablet, notebook, Ultrabook, all-in-one, desktop, and more that all take advantage of the new capabilities of Windows 8 while Windows 8 takes advantage of new features in hardware," Sinofsky said.

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