Microsoft may unveil new version of Windows for ARM chips at CES

Rumors have been circulating that this will finally be the year for tablets that run a Microsoft OS. On this news, information has surfaced that states at CES 2011, Microsoft will unveil a version of its popular Windows platform that will run on ARM based processors.

According to Bloomberg.com, "Microsoft Corp., the world’s largest software maker, will announce a version of its Windows operating system that runs on ARM Holdings Plc technology for the first time, said two people familiar with Microsoft’s plans". The software will be tied to battery powered devices, which many believe will be used for new tablets and phones.

The news does not come as a major surprise as most people agree that for a tablet to be successful, it cant not just equal the iPad, but must best it in every possible way. With an ARM based device, battery power could be significantly improved and with ARM chips already available, developers for the platform should not be hard to come by.

While Microsoft has not and will not confirm any of the details before hand, we will all have to wait until CES to see if this rumor holds any weight. Neowin will be at CES 2011 and will be covering Steve Ballmer's keynote. 

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

PlayStation phone to hit the market in April

Next Story

Daily Gaming: December 21, 2010

57 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Yeah... they just need to go ahead and compile Win7 with SP1 for the ARM. Beta test and release with SP1. It can't be that hard.

About bloody time, I have lost count the amount of times I have said this over the last couple of years. I still contend WP7 would have made an excellent tablet base but oh well, if they want to create 10 different OS fine. As long as it has the battery life of the ipad ill be happy and will be a massive leap forward on current tabs.

About time. I hope this is true, as I've been wanting a good tablet for years, and tablets require an OS that is designed for tablet use.

Just like iOS is different from OS X, this version of windows will be different for arm based pad like computers. It should be interesting. Silverlight would do really well on 7" to 10" screen. Where as Apple chose to make the Ipad just a large ipod touch, It looks like microsoft could conceivable take different approach to leverage Windows x86, windows phone and this device. And use Silverlight/XNA to target platforms.

It wont be anything like the desktop version. For one, the Windows 7 code base would have to be written from scratch effectively. The code is too tied to the x86 arch. Secondly, the touch screen support is god awful. No doubt this will be similar to WP7.

Flawed said,
It wont be anything like the desktop version. For one, the Windows 7 code base would have to be written from scratch effectively. The code is too tied to the x86 arch. Secondly, the touch screen support is god awful. No doubt this will be similar to WP7.

Why do people bother commenting when they don't know what there talking about, especially without a basis for it? This comment is total rubbish.

The WinNT architecture (which is what Windows 7 is based on-- NT 6.1) is designed to be targeted to multiple platforms relatively easy (compared to starting from scratch). This is something very core to NT, all the way back to when it first began. The term NT actually came from the machines they were forced to write the initial NT code on-- the then experimental Intel i860 processor, which was coded named "N-Ten." This was done to force the developers to not do exactly what you're talking about here-- code too close to the hardware, which in that case would have been x86, what they were familiar with. Microsoft wanted to avoid this problem that existed at the time with OS/2, which was hard-coded to work with i286 CPUs. This is what necessitated the need to start over again with NT in the first place (which actually was called NT OS/2 in the beginning!).

bitslasher said,

Why do people bother commenting when they don't know what there talking about, especially without a basis for it? This comment is total rubbish.

If what you say is true, why do they need to create a new version at all? Why not just recompile it for the ARM arch? Clearly large portions of the windows code base are written to work only on x86 processors, for why else would it take so long to release a version for it? I'm sorry, but your logic fails when these simple questions are asked.

Flawed said,

If what you say is true, why do they need to create a new version at all? Why not just recompile it for the ARM arch? Clearly large portions of the windows code base are written to work only on x86 processors, for why else would it take so long to release a version for it? I'm sorry, but your logic fails when these simple questions are asked.

LOL!, just 'recompile' for another architecture? What have you been smoking?

Flawed said,

If what you say is true, why do they need to create a new version at all? Why not just recompile it for the ARM arch? Clearly large portions of the windows code base are written to work only on x86 processors, for why else would it take so long to release a version for it? I'm sorry, but your logic fails when these simple questions are asked.
Even a portable OS has a reasonably large amount of code that is platform-specific. That has to be rewritten for new platforms, it can't just be recompiled (or reassembled, since part of this code is written in architecture-specific assembly code.)

ARM is also problematic because it isn't a platform, it's a processor core found mostly in application processors. It's not a whole standardized platform like the PC.

Shadowzz said,

LOL!, just 'recompile' for another architecture? What have you been smoking?

If you write portable code, the compiler should take care of the target architecture specifics. Have you never written C code before? the GCC and autotools take care of that for you. Sure, OS's are more complex, but still most of the code except perhaps some of the kernel can be architecture independent.

hdood said,
Even a portable OS has a reasonably large amount of code that is platform-specific. That has to be rewritten for new platforms, it can't just be recompiled (or reassembled, since part of this code is written in architecture-specific assembly code.)

Some portions of the kernel perhaps, but most of it, if written with architecture independence in mind can be merely recompiled. However, Windows wasn't written with portability in mind, as anyone who has ever used the Win32 API can attest to.

hdood said,

ARM is also problematic because it isn't a platform, it's a processor core found mostly in application processors. It's not a whole standardized platform like the PC.

GNU/Linux has worked with it for sometime. Again, the problem lies in the poor design, and huge architecture specific legacy code in the Windows code base.

Flawed said,

Some portions of the kernel perhaps, but most of it, if written with architecture independence in mind can be merely recompiled. However, Windows wasn't written with portability in mind, as anyone who has ever used the Win32 API can attest to.

I'm with bitslasher. You'll look a lot smarter if you refrain from commenting on topics that you don't know anything about.

Win32 sits way up in userland. It's not even close to the hardware. You can write a Win32 application for any instruction set that NT is available in.

To date, the NT family of operating systems has already been ported to half-a-dozen chip architectures. In fact, every single version of NT, from 3.1 to Windows 7, has been released for at least two chip architectures. Although Alpha was dropped after Windows 2000, Itanium was picked up for Windows Server 2003.

Coincidentally, Itanium is being dropped after Windows Server 2008 R2. And now we get reports of an ARM port. If the reports are correct, then looks like the Itanium cross-compat team just found themselves a new platform.

Flawed said,

Some portions of the kernel perhaps, but most of it, if written with architecture independence in mind can be merely recompiled. However, Windows wasn't written with portability in mind, as anyone who has ever used the Win32 API can attest to.


GNU/Linux has worked with it for sometime. Again, the problem lies in the poor design, and huge architecture specific legacy code in the Windows code base.

Actually Windows was written with portability in mind, in fact it was one of the key design requirements when NT was written. This is why NT uses a multi layer kernel architecture that has an underlying HAL for hardware, the core NT kernel and several layers of kernel APIs and Interface sets, with subsystems sitting on top that have their own kernels with the subsystems providing interfaces to the NT core.

Win32 is not Windows, it is just the current popular OS platform subsystem for applications, that runs on Windows NT.

It doesn't make sense to port Windows to ARM at this point. Even if they did, it's only half the equation. Anything that was compiled using non-.NET code (read: 90% of worthwhile software) wouldn't be able to run on it.

FYI...

WP7 currently combines the WinCE 6.x kernel with portions of pre-release elements of WinCE 7.0. For example things like the Bluetooth stack, the gesture and touch APIs, and the IE engine are all from pre-release builds of WinCE 7.0. (And yes WP7 and WinCE already run on ARM)

The WP7 update in early 2011 should fully move WP7 to the final version of WinCE 7.0 and the 7.0 kernel.

Several features of the WP7 update and upcoming phone features depend on the final version of WinCE 7.0 - things like: Dual-Core support, DLNA (A pre-release version is already offered on some phones.), and other things like Flash Applications and Flash in IE. (Adobe is targeting the new WP7 and WinCE Flash specifically for WinCE 7.0.)

WinCE 7.0 when released brings the WinCE OS in line with WP7, supporting features from the Silverlight OS platform and UI concepts introduced in WP7, in addition to MTP, new DRM features for content, updated XNA support, and the large offering of audio/video codecs that are native to WP7.

I would imagine it is WinCE 7.0 that is being talked about in the original article, as the new WinCE 7.0 will give devices and low end tablets WP7 features and the WP7 Silverlight OS Platform and new UI concepts.

However, it is possible that Microsoft is toying with an NT version for ARM, as the base NT kernel, is not much bigger than the new WinCE and would perform nearly as well even on low powered devices. I wouldn't expect the Win32 subsystem though, they would probably use a new .NET subsystem that is modeled after the WP7 OS platform, and do away with all the other OS subsystems that the desktop version of Win7 uses (Win16,Win32,Win64,DOS,Unix BSD/SVR-5).

Even if this has nothing to with NT now, at some point as hardware increases, NT will replace WinCE, giving devices the more robust NT kernel and architecture. Win7 Embedded already is quite compact and impressive for a lot of devices today, but it still has a bit of overhead with its object based OS model that WinCE doesn't have to deal with.

thenetavenger said,
FYI...

WP7 currently combines the WinCE 6.x kernel with portions of pre-release elements of WinCE 7.0. For example things like the Bluetooth stack, the gesture and touch APIs, and the IE engine are all from pre-release builds of WinCE 7.0. (And yes WP7 and WinCE already run on ARM)

well explained...
although it's not just the kernel of CE6 and components of CE7.
It's actually the CE7 kernel since WP7 uses the concept of "security chambers" which is introduced in the CE7 kernel and did not exist in CE6r3.

I think MS doesn't like to speak about the version of CE used in WP7, because people may think that WP7 is built over a beta version of CE7. (which would be bad publicity for MS, although there is nothing shocking here, since the version of CE7 used is very stable)

thenetavenger said,
However, it is possible that Microsoft is toying with an NT version for ARM, as the base NT kernel, is not much bigger than the new WinCE and would perform nearly as well even on low powered devices. I wouldn't expect the Win32 subsystem though, they would probably use a new .NET subsystem that is modeled after the WP7 OS platform, and do away with all the other OS subsystems that the desktop version of Win7 uses (Win16,Win32,Win64,DOS,Unix BSD/SVR-5).
Maybe for third party application development, but Windows still requires win32 APIs to function, and .NET is a virtual machine that sits on top of the Windows subsystem (the only subsystem Windows actually has, excluding the optional POSIX subsystem. DOS/16-bit Windows is an emulator that runs on top of the Windows subsystem, and win64 doesn't exist). In other words, they would have to port pretty much all of Windows.

hdood said,
Maybe for third party application development, but Windows still requires win32 APIs to function, and .NET is a virtual machine that sits on top of the Windows subsystem (the only subsystem Windows actually has, excluding the optional POSIX subsystem. DOS/16-bit Windows is an emulator that runs on top of the Windows subsystem, and win64 doesn't exist). In other words, they would have to port pretty much all of Windows.

No...

Win32 is NOT required, the Wiki Article on NT is inaccurate and outdated.

The thing that binds the Win32 subsystem to NT is that MS has implemented the upper level communications through Win32 as it is the main subsystem and acts as the broker for the other subsystems.

However, this is only in place because Win32 is defined as the main subsystem. Microsoft could easily define subsystem XYZ as the main subsystem and then implement these upper level communications through XYZ so that it would be the upper layer broker subsystem. Win32 could then be the non-primary subsystem or removed entirely.

NT also can function without a traditional upper layer subsystem.

WinPE is a good example of this, especailly 2.0 introduced with Vista. It does implement a few of the Win32 API functions, but it is not the Win32 subsystem.

Another good example is when MS demonstrated NT with a CLI and basic HTTP server as the OS interface, and it confused the heck out of people and had them confusing it with Mono and other weird stories.

Win64 does exist. On 64bit versions of Windows, the main subsystem is not the original Win32 subsystem, it technically is the Win64 subsystem. All Win32 applications run through the WOW64 on top of the Win64 subsystem.

This makes sense if you stop to think for a moment. The inherent API set in the main subsystem is now Win64 APIs that use 64bit data types, so a Win32 application cannot run on the Win64 subsystem as it would fail. This is why WOW64 exists for Win32 applications that handle API translation, thunking, and architecture specific features like CPU context switching between 32bit/64bit for the thread. Make more sense?

You reference the optional 'POSIX' subsystem, but this is not technically correct anymore. Older versions of NT had a POSIX subsystem, that didn't offer much outside of the definitions of POSIX compliance.

With the introduction of SFU/SUA, the POSIX subsystem was replaced by SFU and now the SUA in Vista and Windows7. It is now more than POSIX, as the new SUA (Subsystem for Unix based Applications), is a full SVR-5 and BSD Unix OS subsystem. Sadly though, the capabilities of SUA are underestimated, as many people like yourself only see it as a basic POSIX offering.

As for Win16 and DOS... They are not true NT subsystems, but follow a MS subsystem concept that originated before NT existed. Win16 and DOS applications run in a VDM on the Win32 subsystem. (Win16 and DOS is not available on Windows 64bit versions, as the VDM and WOW32 will not run in the Win64 subsystem <- See Win64 really does exist or DOS and Win16 would still be able to run on Win32.)

So back to your point that you think MS would have to port pretty much all of Windows.

This basic notition is not related to the NT subsystems that we already defined more accurately, as NT has already been ported and ran on RISC, PowerPC, MIPS, ALPHA, X86, X64, I64.

NT's most basic original deisgn goal was PORTABILITY. NT can easily be ported to ARM, and run any type of OS technology on top of it rather easily.

This is easier for NT than even other highly portable OSes, like Linux, because of the NT architecture and client/server model that consists of a lot of layers and even kernel layer API sets.

Add to this .NET technologyies that are also highly portable and already run on ARM devices everyday, they could make the WP7 .NET OS the main subsystem, or heck even implement a WinCE/.NET/Silverlight NT subsystem if they wanted to keep the entire OS foundation, as this is what NT subsystems do, is provide a base OS kernel to the subsystem that communicates to the NT kernel layers.

So if you think it would be hard, or if you think MS doesn't have NT running on ARM somewhere already, especially in MS R&D, I have a bridge to sell.

thenetavenger said,

Win32 is NOT required, the Wiki Article on NT is inaccurate and outdated.
It is required. It is the only subsystem that is not optional. Obviously it could be replaced by something else, but it can't just be removed.

thenetavenger said,

WinPE is a good example of this, especailly 2.0 introduced with Vista. It does implement a few of the Win32 API functions, but it is not the Win32 subsystem.
WinPE includes the full Windows subsystem. If it didn't, you wouldn't even be able to see any graphics on the screen.

thenetavenger said,

Win64 does exist. On 64bit versions of Windows, the main subsystem is not the original Win32 subsystem, it technically is the Win64 subsystem. All Win32 applications run through the WOW64 on top of the Win64 subsystem.
There is no subsystem called "win32" or "win64." The subsystem is called Windows. Win32 is another name for the 32-bit APIs, to separate them from the 16-bit APIs which were fairly different. Win64, on the other hand, doesn't exist, because there is no separate 64-bit API. 64-bit version of Windows maintains the same win32 APIs just with 64-bit pointers, and the name remains win32.

thenetavenger said,

You reference the optional 'POSIX' subsystem, but this is not technically correct anymore.
Semantics. Yes, they changed the name to SUA, but everyone still calls it the POSIX subsystem.

thenetavenger said,

As for Win16 and DOS... They are not true NT subsystems
Yes, they aren't. They are emulated on top of the Windows subsystem.

thenetavenger said,

NT's most basic original deisgn goal was PORTABILITY. NT can easily be ported to ARM, and run any type of OS technology on top of it rather easily.
It seems like you've forgotten what we were talking about. The point is not that you can't port the full Windows to a new platform, it's that you can't just strip out random parts. Getting rid of the Windows subsystem and replacing it with a brand new .NET-based subsystem would be a massive undertaking that would take years. It's simply not realistic.

thenetavenger said,

they could make the WP7 .NET OS the main subsystem
WP7 isn't a .NET OS. It's Windows CE with the .NET Compact Framework and Silverlight running on top of it, calling the native APIs.

thenetavenger said,

So if you think it would be hard, or if you think MS doesn't have NT running on ARM somewhere already, especially in MS R&D, I have a bridge to sell.
There's no reason to believe they do.

hdood said,
It is required. It is the only subsystem that is not optional. Obviously it could be replaced by something else, but it can't just be removed.

WinPE includes the full Windows subsystem. If it didn't, you wouldn't even be able to see any graphics on the screen.

There is no subsystem called "win32" or "win64." The subsystem is called Windows. Win32 is another name for the 32-bit APIs, to separate them from the 16-bit APIs which were fairly different. Win64, on the other hand, doesn't exist, because there is no separate 64-bit API. 64-bit version of Windows maintains the same win32 APIs just with 64-bit pointers, and the name remains win32.

Semantics. Yes, they changed the name to SUA, but everyone still calls it the POSIX subsystem.

Yes, they aren't. They are emulated on top of the Windows subsystem.

It seems like you've forgotten what we were talking about. The point is not that you can't port the full Windows to a new platform, it's that you can't just strip out random parts. Getting rid of the Windows subsystem and replacing it with a brand new .NET-based subsystem would be a massive undertaking that would take years. It's simply not realistic.

WP7 isn't a .NET OS. It's Windows CE with the .NET Compact Framework and Silverlight running on top of it, calling the native APIs.

There's no reason to believe they do.

Almost evey point you made is factually incorrect. Is this on purpose?

1) Win32 is OPTIONAL. NT itself does not need Win32 at all. MS has demonstrated NT running without any subsystem. Please do a web search if this still does not make sense.

2) WinPE does not use Win32 at all... It only implements a basic set of the Win32/Win64 APIs, that it REPLICATES. Just because you can see graphics on the screen, DOES NOT have anything to do with Win32. WinPE does replicate some of the Win32 drawing APIs, but again, this is NOT Win32 running. The video subsystem in NT has NOTHING to do with Win32, this is something you can easily look up.

3) "They are emulated on top of the Windows subsystem". Technically, no, VDMs are NOT emulated. Go read the Wiki Page on VDMs, it is fairly accurate on this. If they were emulated, then Win16 and DOS would still run on Win x64, and they don't. The only way to run DOS or Win16 on Win x64 is via something like VMWare or VirtualPC(WindowsXP Mode), where they are actually emulated.

4) "Semantics. Yes, they changed the name to SUA, but everyone still calls it the POSIX subsystem"
No, this is not correct. The SFU that is now the SUA is a full UNIX subsystem originally created for NT by Interix, that Microsoft purchased. The product was then evolved into a more robust full UNIX subsystem. The original NT POSIX subsystem was deprecated completely. Only misinformed people still refer to the SUA as the POSIX subsystem. (There is a difference between a full UNIX subsystem and a limited subsystem that just provides basic POSIX compliance. Because the SUA is a full UNIX subsystem, it is POSIX compliant in addition to being a UNIX subsystem.)

5) " it's that you can't just strip out random parts"
Yes you can. NT is a layered OS, and the bottom layers can very easily be stripped out. MS has demonstrated TIME AND TIME again with core versions of NT running with only a simple CLI interface to an HTTP server running. There were a few years during the Win2K and early WinXP timeline of the NT fork where some of the layers had been overlapped in the development cycle, but these were pulled back apart during the development of Vista.

The porting and structured layering is a key design concept of how NT was designed. Even the kernel level API sets are not bound and are layered. (I would recommend the first edition of 'InsideNT', as it clearly explains this. Even go follow some of the more technical videos on Channel 9 by some of the core NT designers and developers, they talk about this as well.)

6) "WP7 isn't a .NET OS. It's Windows CE with the .NET"
The point I was making is the new .NET/Silverlight platform in WP7 could be the basis of new NT subsystem. WP7 doesn't use WinCE for the applicaiton layer or the OS Platform for applications, it uses .NET and Silverlight as the application hosting OS platform.

Go backup and read the description of WP7 in my original post. This is about as accurate of a description of WP7 outside of Microsoft that you will find. There was no need for you to restate that WP7 is running WinCE as the core OS.

---

Next time, please try using Google or Bing before you jump in to correct something you might not fully understand and make yourself look silly. Even the bad Wiki Articles on these subjects are more factual than your responses, and there is a lot of outdated and inaccurate Wiki articles when it comes to Windows and NT technology.

Yeah, CE7 everyone knows this is coming out in the first quarter 2011...

I wonder how long it will take for Windows Phone to be based on it.

mad_onion said,
Yeah, CE7 everyone knows this is coming out in the first quarter 2011...

I wonder how long it will take for Windows Phone to be based on it.

I don't know if they'll move WP7 over to CE7 or just wait for WP8 to do so, either way the rumor is that WP8 is coming in 2012 so we'll know in a year from now probably.

mad_onion said,
Yeah, CE7 everyone knows this is coming out in the first quarter 2011...

I wonder how long it will take for Windows Phone to be based on it.

Windows Phone 7 is already based on windows CE 7 (a stable pre final build of CE 7)

actually windows CE 7 is still in beta because of the SDK, and things like flash 10.1 that are supposed to be included in CE7 rtm. But the CE7 kernel was stable enough to be included in windows phone 7.

link8506 said,

Windows Phone 7 is already based on windows CE 7 (a stable pre final build of CE 7)

actually windows CE 7 is still in beta because of the SDK, and things like flash 10.1 that are supposed to be included in CE7 rtm. But the CE7 kernel was stable enough to be included in windows phone 7.

Really? I've seen some conflicting sources, but generally, my best information, including some from MS says that WP7 is based on CE6.0R3, with a couple of cellcore components from EC7. They did not base WP7 upon unfinished and unready technology, such as EC7.

Windows CE is still "Windows" so maybe Bloomberg isn't spot on but they're not exactly totally wrong either. We'll just have to wait for CES, there are a lot of MS rumors out there for CES, tablets, WP7 updates, etc etc.

I think that we'll see CE7 on these tablets. They are going the route of Windows Phone 7 with a more customized look and feel. I think it's a good choice, since the IOS doesn't lend itself well to a tablet because of the limitations, and hopefully CE bridges the gap between a full desktop, a tablet, and a phone.

http://www.microsoft.com/windo...cts/windowsce/compact7.mspx

It's got some interesting videos, Silverlight is already mentioned so that's my guess for the upcoming info!

To those of you who are saying it's CE: I'm sorry but hasn't Windows CE had ARM platform support for years? Though the article does say a version, so it could be an updated version of what already exists.

Julius Caro said,
To those of you who are saying it's CE: I'm sorry but hasn't Windows CE had ARM platform support for years?
Yes, but we're talking about the latest generation focused on .NET/Silverlight. Ditch the old desktop designed for use with a stylus/mouse and throw on an interface tailored for touch and you've got something that could be nice.

Julius Caro said,
To those of you who are saying it's CE: I'm sorry but hasn't Windows CE had ARM platform support for years?

CE has supported ARM since V2, athough it didn't support advanced features in the latest ARM chips like dualcore, etc..

hdood said,
Yes, but we're talking about the latest generation focused on .NET/Silverlight. Ditch the old desktop designed for use with a stylus/mouse and throw on an interface tailored for touch and you've got something that could be nice.

Um, you are describing WP7, which is WinCE with exactly what you are suggeting, and it already exists and already runs on ARM.

thenetavenger said,
Um, you are describing WP7, which is WinCE with exactly what you are suggeting, and it already exists and already runs on ARM.
No, WP7 is Windows Phone 7. It is a phone OS. I am talking about a scaled up equivalent for tablets.

hdood said,
No, WP7 is Windows Phone 7. It is a phone OS. I am talking about a scaled up equivalent for tablets.

But the concepts introduced in WP7 is a WinCE based OS running an upper layer .NET framework, with a shared Silverlight OS and platform for applications.

It doesn't have to run on a phone, and with the way the .NET and Silverlight platform is designed could provide a very rich and powerful application platform.

By using .NET and Silverlight as the main OS platform creates a very smart base for the OS UI and applications that are inherently resolution independent and very rich in graphical context combined with the WinCE functional technologies of handling touch, gestures, ink/handwriting, voice recognition, etc.

So ya, this is what you are asking for, even if the concept was introduced on a phone. Go look at WinCE 7.0 technologies, a lot of what the newer WinCE 7.0 is designed for and around are the technologies needed for WP7 that also include technologies that would be perfect for tablet. WinCE 7.0 has taken a lot from WP7 and the new .NET mobile and Silverlight platform capabilities.

WinCE V7.0 was in beta since June, i'm not suppised it's finished now. They showed tablets with Ce 7 beta last year at CES

dhan said,
I am guessing this "version of Windows" is WinCE and not something NT offspring.
Windows NT had a version for Alpha and Windows XP had one for Itanium

Rudy said,
Windows NT had a version for Alpha and Windows XP had one for Itanium

Windows Server 2008 R2 is also available for Itanium. Although that would be the last.

Rudy said,
Windows NT had a version for Alpha and Windows XP had one for Itanium

actually, up to windows 2000 had a alpha version up to beta 2, then it was dropped

St4rOcean said,

errr.. windows phone 7 is also based off windows ce 6. The UI of windows CE can be changed.

oh Well, if I didn't know that, in its entirety, then many people probably don't... sorry.

Not a chance in hell. They might announce a new tablet version of Windows CE to go with WP7, but nothing more.

hdood said,
Not a chance in hell. They might announce a new tablet version of Windows CE to go with WP7, but nothing more.

you're wrong

Microsoft has been working on a lightweight version of Windows NT for ARM for some time.
I don't know if it will be ready for CES, but it will probably be available in 2011.

don't expect things like NTFS support or explorer.exe, or old windows APIs inside. It is designed to run silverlight/.net based applications, not traditional win32/windows NT based applications.

So, Windows CE7 is probably the last version of windows CE.

link8506 said,
you're wrong

Microsoft has been working on a lightweight version of Windows NT for ARM for some time.
I don't know if it will be ready for CES, but it will probably be available in 2011.

Sorry, but you don't get to say "you're wrong" without any evidence. Especially not with a claim as bold as yours.

There is already a componetized version of windows 7 it's called windows embedded standarad 7
it has full win32 compatibilty. it also runs silverlight .NET etc;It's aimed at set top boxes etc;

on the other hand windows embedded compact 7 (CE 7) is an RTOS aimed at smaller devices like phones.This runs on ARM . It has silverlight support,gesture support,mobile IE etc; It's not win32 compatible.

hdood said,
Not a chance in hell. They might announce a new tablet version of Windows CE to go with WP7, but nothing more.
It makes more sense that they would now because they want to compete in the tablet market. I am pretty sure they have a new runtime environment coming too because it makes sense that the ARM chips won't be able to handle the power of rich applications.