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.