Microsoft has developed Windows RT as a consumer operating system for ARM processor-based tablets, but now the company is taking steps that, in theory, could lead to an ARM-based version of Windows Server as well.
Computerworld reports that Microsoft has joined an industry effort to standardize the specifications of ARM-based server hardware. Other companies that are a part of this forum are Linux-based software companies line Red Hat and Canonical, PC OEMs like Dell and HP and chip makers like AMD. In fact, that company has already announced that its first server chip using an ARM design, the Opteron A1100, and will begin sampling later this quarter; AMD first announced its plans to make ARM-based chips nearly a year ago.
AMD's reference board for the ARM-based Opteron A1100 will begin sampling later this quarter.
A spokesperson for Microsoft told Computerworld, "We can confirm Microsoft participates in an industry forum driven by ARM around the Server Base System Architecture, as a part of our continuous work with industry partners to deliver solutions our customers want." However, the spokesperson stopped short of saying if Microsoft is developing an ARM-based version of Windows Server.
The use of ARM-based chips for servers could become more popular in the years to come. In theory, those processors will use less power than their x86 counterparts. It certainly stands to reason that Microsoft, which has a ton of businesses in supporting servers with software, would want to support ARM-based servers with its own operating system solution too.
Source: Computerworld | Image via AMD