Intel CEO points out potential legacy issues with ARM-based Windows 8 devices

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When the first batch of Windows 8-powered devices arrives in the market, you’ll have the option to choose something that runs on either Intel or ARM. As you may already know, this is in part due to the two different flavors of Windows 8 that will be coming out. First, there is a standard, kind of desktop-like Windows 8 version that is effectively the next level of the x86 platform, and then there’s the ARM-flavored Windows 8 version (called Windows RT) for mobile devices with an emphasis on maximum computing power with the lowest TDP and longest battery life. Today, during during a meeting with investors at their headquarters in Santa Clara, California, Intel CEO Paul Otellini took the time to mention something that’s going to set Intel-powered Windows 8 devices apart from those that are running on ARM: legacy mode.

Legacy mode allows users to switch out of Windows 8′s standard Metro style option and use legacy programs, particularly enterprise apps that have been around for a very long time. “We have the advantage of the incumbency, advantage of the legacy support. Not just in terms of applications but devices,” said Otellini to Intel investors during the meeting. ARM’s lack of support for legacy mode leaves Otellini confident. The Intel CEO was quoted as saying, “I think they have a big uphill fight.”

Currently, there seems to be a lot of interest in upcoming Windows 8 devices, regardless of whether they are running on chips from either Intel or ARM. It would be interesting to see how the market adapts to the availability of two different types of devices which effectively open the door to two separate universes.

Intel via CNET

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Written by: Björn A.