Windows 8 ARM notebooks coming in June 2013?

Windows 8 may be launching for x86/x64-based processors by mid-2012, but a new rumor from Digitimes claims that the promised ARM version of Microsoft's next operating system could take a little longer. The story claims via unnamed sources that the Windows on ARM OS could debut by the end of 2012 and that ARM-based Windows 8 notebooks could launch in June 2013.

Obviously those notebooks with ARM-based processors, made by companies such as NVIDIA, Texas Instruments and Qualcomm, would be competing with notebooks with Intel and AMD processors inside. ARM processor makers are reportedly making deals with notebook makers such as Asus and Lenovo to have ARM-based chips inside their notebooks.

The story claims that the notebooks that would launch in mid-2013 would test the waters for such a laptop. More ARM-based Windows 8 notebooks would launch in 2014 and by 2015 ARM-based processor makers hope to take a large amount of market share away from Intel and AMD in the notebook space.

ARM-based chips can compete with Intel and AMD in terms of both price and power consumption. However, Windows 8 on ARM will require that applications have to be rewritten to work on the ARM processor. It will also require the support of the major notebook makers. If those two issues can be overcome, Intel and AMD might have to deal with some real rivals for its once mighty laptop business.

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19 Comments

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This story sounds like FUD when you consider that the in the eyes of Windows 8, the only difference between a notebook and a tablet is a built-in keyboard, and when you have tablets with keyboard docks like the Transformer Prime, I don't see why ARM notebooks would be purposefully delayed by a year.

I think that's a typo. It far more likely that there will be ARM based Windows 8 tablets in June 2012 than 2013. ARM devices are only going to have the Metro UI and as such only need a subset of Windows 8's full capabilities. That's not to say there isn't a lot of work to be done, but it needs to BE done sooner rather than later.

webdev511 said,
I think that's a typo. It far more likely that there will be ARM based Windows 8 tablets in June 2012 than 2013. ARM devices are only going to have the Metro UI and as such only need a subset of Windows 8's full capabilities. That's not to say there isn't a lot of work to be done, but it needs to BE done sooner rather than later.

The article is specifically about notebooks running with ARM chips, nothing is mentioned about tablets. The fact thet nothing is mentioned about tablets and it repeatedly mentions notebooks makes me think the hardware guys (Asus etc) will be focusing on the tablet side for ARM to start with, then move to notebooks (possibly).

It makes sense. The ARM tablets will launch first (apparently), then the x86 laptops/desktops, then the ARM laptops. People aren't going to want to buy ARM laptops initially.

So this talks about ARM notebooks not ARM tablets. I believe everyone expects ARM tablets to still arrive during 2012 Q3/Q4.

Vannos said,
So this talks about ARM notebooks not ARM tablets. I believe everyone expects ARM tablets to still arrive during 2012 Q3/Q4.

Haha good catch!

Don't buy it. Microsoft won't shoot itself in the foot that badly when it comes to tablets. I can't see the ARM version launching after the regular x86 version.

If anything, Microsoft will be prioritizing the ARM version over the standard version because of how much it's focusing on tablets, so I'll pass on believing these rumours.

Over 18 months away? Thats WAY too far away from now, theres so many different things that can happen in between now and then. Way too slow imo.

Hm... I'm assuming that programs written in .NET will just work and all the heavy work will be handled by the Framework? All the more reason to use .NET...

Indeed, everything using pure .NET without native calls - which includes the majority of everyday apps AFAIK - should "just work" on ARM Windows.

tuneslover said,
then no. I can't wait. I'm buying ASUS Transformer or Galaxy Tab 10.1 (not sure yet).

Don't confuse notebooks with tablets. There's another rumour that the ARM tablets will be released before the x86 computers.