Contrary to a number of reports that have suggested otherwise, ARM-powered Windows 8 devices will likely be able to run full desktop applications. Microsoft had failed for some time to provide a straight answer as to whether or not ARM-powered devices would be limited to simply running Metro-style applications. However, ZDNet‘s Mary Jo Foley noticed a Microsoft post that specifically discussed power states on Windows 8 ARM devices for “both desktop and Metro style apps,” which clearly suggests that support for desktop applications will be included. Microsoft still hasn’t officially confirmed this, but as Mary Jo Foley points out, we suspect that Microsoft was diligent with its writing and that it didn’t just drop in a reference to desktop support accidentally. We’ll likely have to wait just a little longer until the official word drops, but for now it appears full desktop applications will be supported on Windows 8-powered ARM devices.
Desktop apps that are designed to run on Windows 8 computers with x86/x64 processors will also be capable of running on ARM processors, ZDNet reported on Tuesday. Developers will need to recompile applications so that they run properly and Microsoft is hoping that a majority of developers create both desktop and ARM versions of their applications. In addition, ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley said the standard Windows 8 desktop Metro style user interface will look the exact same on both types of processors. Microsoft has not yet said whether or not its Windows 8 application store will be populated with both Metro style applications and desktop apps.
Microsoft announced that it is releasing a developer preview of its upcoming next-generation operating system, currently named “Windows 8,” during its BUILD conference in Los Angeles on Tuesday. President of Windows and Windows Live Division Steve Sinofsky took the stage during BUILD’s opening keynote and discussed several of the operating system’s new features. “We reimagined Windows,” he said. “From the chipset to the user experience, Windows 8 brings a new range of capabilities without compromise.” As Microsoft has already revealed, Windows 8 will offer a new “Metro style” user interface that is built to take advantage of touch input but works just as well with a keyboard and mouse. Internet Explorer 10 will also offer full support for touch browsing, and Sinofsky hinted that even desktop-sized Windows 8 computers will largely take advantage of touchscreen monitors. Developers will be able to create Metro style applications that will fill the entire screen, too. Microsoft said the next-generation of Windows 8 hardware will turn on instantly and will be capable of running all day on a single charge. The OS is designed to run on devices ranging from a 10-inch tablet to a large desktop, and developers will have access to Windows 8 later this week. Read on for the full press release that discusses several other new features in Windows 8, as well as a hands-on video from WinRumors.
Microsoft Reimagines Windows, Presents Windows 8 Developer Preview
BUILD conference attendees and developers get first access to new operating system.
LOS ANGELES â€” Sept. 13, 2011 â€” Today at its developer-focused BUILD conference, Microsoft Corp. showcased a detailed preview of the next major release of Windows, code-named â€śWindows 8.â€ť The company also detailed new tools for developers to help write applications for more than 1 billion people around the world who use Windows every day.
â€śWe reimagined Windows,â€ť said Steven Sinofsky, president of the Windows and Windows Live Division at Microsoft, in his keynote address to the thousands of developers in attendance. â€śFrom the chipset to the user experience, Windows 8 brings a new range of capabilities without compromise.â€ť
The company also highlighted a variety of new features in Windows 8, including the following:
Touch-First User Interface
Metro style. Windows 8 introduces a new Metro style interface built for touch, which shows information important to you, embodies simplicity and gives you control. The Metro style UI is equally at home with a mouse and keyboard as well.
Touch-first browsing, not just browsing on a touch device. Providing a fast and fluid touch-browsing experience, Internet Explorer 10 puts sites at the center on new Windows 8 devices.
More Ways to Engage With Powerful, Connected Apps
Powered by apps. Metro style apps built for Windows 8 are the focal point of your experience, filling your entire screen so there are no distractions.
Apps can work together. Apps communicate with each other in Windows 8. For example, you can easily select and email photos from different places, such as Facebook, Flickr or on your hard drive.
Your experience syncs across your devices. Live roams all the content from the cloud services you use most â€” photos, email, calendar and contacts â€” keeping them up-to-date on your devices. With SkyDrive, you can access your files, photos and documents from virtually anywhere with any browser or with Metro style apps in Windows 8.
The best of Windows 7, only better. Windows 8 is built on the rock-solid foundation of Windows 7, delivering improvements in performance, security, privacy and system reliability. Windows 8 reduces the memory footprint needed â€” even on the lowest-end hardware â€” leaving more room for your apps.
Preserving power-user favorites and making them better. For those who push the limits of their PC, Windows 8 features an enhanced Task Manager and Windows Explorer and new, flexible options for multimonitor setups.
New Developer Opportunities
Windows Store. The Windows Store will allow developers to sell their apps anywhere Windows is sold worldwide, whether theyâ€™re creating new games or familiar productivity tools.
Build using more languages. Windows 8 lets you leverage your existing skills and code assets to create great experiences using the programming language you prefer.
Rich hardware integration leads to richer experiences â€” particularly for games. DirectX 11 gaming power underlies Windows 8, allowing the easy creation of full-screen games with smooth, flicker-free action.
New Generation of Hardware
One Windows â€” many shapes and sizes. Support for ARM-based chipsets, x86 (as well as x32 and x64) devices, touch and sensors means Windows 8 works beautifully across a spectrum of devices, from 10-inch tablets and laptops to all-in-ones with 27-inch high-definition screens.
Always connected. With Windows 8, new ultrathin PCs and tablets turn on instantly, run all day on a single charge and stay connected to the Internet so your PC is ready when you are. Next-generation system on a chip (SoC) support will also enable greatly extended standby and low-power states.
Tap the full power of your PC. Windows 8 runs on PCs and is compatible with the devices and programs you use today on Windows 7, without compromise, to deliver the performance you expect of a PC.
Developers will be able to download the Windows Developer Preview via the new Windows Dev Center later this week. Webcasts of sessions will be posted on the BUILD site as well.
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