Windows 8 on ARM-based processors has been the subject of much speculation but today Microsoft used its official Windows 8 blog site to announce that the ARM port of Windows 8 is still planned to be released at the same time as the x86 version of the PC operating system.
The biggest announcement today as far as Windows on ARM (WOA) is concerned is that the next version of Microsoft Office will be included in all Windows 8 ARM ports. The blog post states:
WOA includes desktop versions of the new Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. These new Office applications, codenamed “Office 15”, have been significantly architected for both touch and minimized power/resource consumption, while also being fully-featured for consumers and providing complete document compatibility. WOA supports the Windows desktop experience including File Explorer, Internet Explorer 10 for the desktop, and most other intrinsic Windows desktop features—which have been significantly architected for both touch and minimized power/resource consumption.
Microsoft has also confirmed that Window 8 on ARM will not be sold as a separate software product. Instead it will simply be installed on all new Windows 8-based ARM hardware devices. Microsoft won't release the ARM port as part of its Consumer Preview launch later in February but it did say it will sent out a "limited number of test PCs ... to developers and hardware partners in a closed, invitation-only program" at some point in the future.