Yesterday, Intel senior vice president Renee James spilled some details about Microsoft’s next version of Windows, claiming that the ARM version won’t run legacy Windows apps (which were designed only to run on Intel’s x86 family of processors).She also said that Microsoft would release four versions of Windows for ARM processors, none of which would run apps for the other versions.
“There will be four Windows 8 SoCs for ARM. Each one will run for that specific ARM environment, and they will run new applications or cloud-based applications….They are neither forward- nor backward-compatible between their own architecture – different generations of a single vendor – nor are they compatible across different vendors. Each one is a unique stack.”
Microsoft was not pleased.
Windows President Steven Sinofsky is known for running a tight ship — back when he ran Office, even Microsoft’s own Windows team couldn’t get information about the next Office release — and rumour has it that Microsoft has fired some people for leaking early details about Windows 8.
Microsoft can’t exactly fire Intel as a partner. So instead, it offered the following denial:
Intel’s statements during yesterday’s Intel Investor Meeting about Microsoft’s plans for the next version of Windows were factually inaccurate and unfortunately misleading. From the first demonstrations of Windows on SoC, we have been clear about our goals and have emphasised that we are at the technology demonstration stage. As such, we have no further details or information at this time.
“No further details or information” means that Microsoft won’t say exactly which parts of James’s statements were inaccurate. The part about legacy apps? The part about four versions of Windows for ARM? Both?
Expect Microsoft to explain itself more fully at its September conference for developers.