Windows 8 will be the first Microsoft operating system to run on ARM-based processors in addition to traditional x86 chips from Intel and AMD. ARM processors such as Nvidia’s Tegra, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon, and TI’s OMAP have dominated the smartphone and tablet space because they’re great at low-power, connected computing.
Windows 8 for ARM will support a new mode called “always on, always connected” that allows any device to act like a phone, remaining in standby mode for hours without disconnecting from the Internet, then waking instantly the minute you need them to.
At Computex Taipei, Microsoft VP of Windows Planning Mike Angiulo showed that both an ARM device and a standard x86 PC could run the same piano playing application. He also demoed a notebook based Nvidia’s quad core Kal El CPU that could run Microsoft Office and print documents to a standard printer.