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back to article AMD: Windows-8-on-ARM app compatibility is relative

The matter of whether existing Windows applications will run on Windows 8 on ARM – putting them on tablets – has been kicked back and forth a lot this year. Intel this spring pointed out that Windows applications running on x86 for PCs won't run on Windows 8 on ARM. Intel senior vice president Renée James, speaking at an …

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Realistically...

For most of us it's not so much as to whether there needs to be alternative versions of Microsoft software available for ARM, but more whether the licensing models will cover installation on any platform.

If Microsoft decide to get greedy and start saying that ARM-based devices require a separate special license for software like Office that aren't covered already in volume licensing and/or retail licenses then people aren't going to shell out for it.

I hate to say it, but I'm half-expecting Microsoft to discourage local installations of Office for tablets anyway, and try to push Office 365 on everyone. They do tend to have a certain tendency towards blindness to the fact that most people out there don't have always-on, always-active high-speed internet connectivity that never fails.

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WTF?

Freeky de ja vu

I'm sure I read this article yesterday along with some comments...

News flash! The Register invents time machine!

Anyway, this is hardly news - more like AMD trying to protect market share with scaremongering.

News flash! You have to target your code to the processor you want it to run on!

Sheesh.

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Gold badge

Windows on Intel

I have a Vista laptop and an XP desktop migrating to Win7, and at home a MBP. I have applications that didn't work moving from XP to Vista (including Acrobat!). I have applications that won't run on Win7 (They will be hosted on Server2003 using citrix / rdp). Also the Intel Office suite doesn't run on the Intel Macbook (in OS X).

Seriously, does this "won't run on ARM" really matter?

If MS does this right, they will even have a layer so that the more-powerful x86 machines can run ARM apps, and then people can even get ARM apps and upgrade to an ARM portable later.

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Joke

.NET?

Clearly they are going to re-write Word in JavaScript and HTML5.

-A.

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Anonymous Coward

already does not work right

Windows already barely works -- let alone on odd hardware!

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Deja Vu?

Anyway, ironically DOS applications will be fine.

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I hope MS have learned from the past

How many developers bothered to port their apps to Itanium, or PowerPC, or Alpha or MIPS when Windows has dabbled with those architectures?

It's a huge pain to build, test, package and support multiple copies of the same product for multiple platforms. Placing the burden on developers to do this is going to stifle interest in any ARM tablets.

If Microsoft were smart they'd produce something analogous to LLVM so devs could target an architecture agnostic virtual platform and a runtime would ensure it just worked irrespective of what CPU was underneath.

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Bronze badge
FAIL

Well, duh.

Applications written specifically for Windoze 8 will be written in .NET and will therefore run on any architecture. What *won't* work is a legacy Win32 app compiled for x86 running on an ARM device.

Microsoft's continued monopolization of the PC space is built upon all of those legacy Win32-x86 applications. If they won't run on Win8-ARM then there's no reason to buy ARMdoze -- everyone will simply continue to buy Android and Apple devices.

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What's the problem?

x86 code has been running on ARM chips for decades. So what's the problem?

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Rosetta anyone

maybe Steve can call Tim and borrow Apple's Rosetta ... which seemed fine for getting PPC code apps to run on Intel... until Apple decided to drop it..

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I think it is as much a case of if all Windows 8 ARM apps will run on x86 systems

I am starting to think of this as a new tablet OS for ARM, when the tablet apps will also run on x86 PCs/Notebooks.

Now will MS-Office run on a ARM based system?

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