Intel CEO slams Windows 8 ARM-based devices

Microsoft made history at CES 2011 when it announced that the next version of Windows would have versions that would run not just on x86-based processors but also chips that were based on designs from ARM. Since then ARM-based companies like Qualcomm, Texas Instruments and NVIDIA have all announced that their chips will be running inside Windows 8 devices.

Now Intel is fighting back against the Windows 8 ARM (also known as Windows RT) trend. News.com reports that in Intel's annual investors conference today, its CEO Paul Otellini says that Windows RT-based machines "have a big uphill fight" when it comes to gaining market share, especially when it comes to business users.

Part of the problem, according to Otellini, is that x86 versions of Windows 8 legacy software apps can't run natively on Windows RT, whereas older Windows programs will still be able to run on Windows 8 on its legacy (or desktop) mode. Otellini stated, "With one button you can get to legacy mode...this is critically important for CIOs who want to preserve all of their investments in software. We have the advantage of the incumbency, advantage of the legacy support. Not just in terms of applications but devices."

Otellini even gave a live demo of Windows 8 running on an Intel PC, showing with one button how users can switch from Windows 8 Metro to the desktop mode.

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25 Comments

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I'm a big fan of ARM's work, but one of the reasons I really want to use a Windows tablet is so I can use existing Windows software. This really is a big handicap on the Windows RT side. I suppose another way to look at it is that Windows RT is essentially parity with the iPad, but an x86 slate has a big added bonus of being able to run existing desktop software.

make that new SOC chip have a battery life good enough to last my work day and I will gladly never look at the POS that is the ARM processor again.

Intel "slams" an operating system designed to run on one of it's competitor's chips... shocker.

Edited by Ryster, May 10 2012, 9:12pm :

I would prefer an x86 tablet anyday. WinRT prevents sideloading... a very bad sign for what is supposed to be a semi-open platform.

XX55XX said,
I would prefer an x86 tablet anyday. WinRT prevents sideloading... a very bad sign for what is supposed to be a semi-open platform.

WinRT isn't an open or semi-open platform. It's a metro platform, for which you need to get your apps from the Microsoft store.

TCLN Ryster said,

WinRT isn't an open or semi-open platform. It's a metro platform, for which you need to get your apps from the Microsoft store.

Which is why it's bad. I want sideloaded Metro apps available on my device.

XX55XX said,

Which is why it's bad. I want sideloaded Metro apps available on my device.

This isn't a issue. I'm sure there will be free apps in the store. or better yet go write one.

ShiZZa said,

This isn't a issue. I'm sure there will be free apps in the store. or better yet go write one.

It's an issue if there is an app available that isn't allowed in the store, for one reason. Emulators possibly.

TCLN Ryster said,

WinRT isn't an open or semi-open platform. It's a metro platform, for which you need to get your apps from the Microsoft store.

One of the several reasons, although a very important one, that will make me buy a x 86 Tablet......

XX55XX said,

Which is why it's bad. I want sideloaded Metro apps available on my device.

I don't see what the problem is. If it is your app then you can put the application on your device like any other developer. If it is a business app then Microsoft has a way you can put in on the market for loading on business machines only for your business. If it is someone else app then why wouldn't they want to put it on the market to make money from anyone or they can provide it for free. So the only problem I see is if you want to put stolen apps, that you do not have the source for, on your device.

What scenario did I forget and covers what you want to do?

To be fair, what with the advent of Intel's Medfield chips and other forthcoming low powered, cheap x86 chips, there doesn't seem to be a lot of reason for ever choosing Windows On Arm. The Medfield chips certainly have the power in the them, and their battery life is pretty much comparable to other mobile chips, so why would you choose an ARM powered tablet and not get the full Windows experience over a Medfield (and its successors) powered tablet?

daniel_rh said,
First they're very excited, now they trash it

They're just jealous because they continue to fail to produce ARM compatible chips in volume. They've been at if for years.

daniel_rh said,
First they're very excited, now they trash it

They can be excited about what they excel at but they can't be excited about what their competitors excel at! But I do see the point in their argument. Windows RT is a dumbed down version with no support for x86 software.....and hence it can't be expected to be welcomed by professionals who would rather go for whole windows experience provided by Intel based tablets. This situation could improve over 2-3 years( or may be less than that) when windows app store becomes self sufficient and has enough apps to attract tastes of hard core IT professionals and normal users alike!