Microsoft has no plans to port Windows 7 to run on ARM processors. At least, no official plans. Instead, the company is suggesting that PC makers using ARM-based chips for their netbooks or “smartbooks” go with Windows Embedded CE, which can support devices with ARM, x86, and MIPS based rocessors.
IDG’s Dan Nystedt got a chance to ask Microsoft Windows Embedded manager Kevin Dallas a few questions about the company’s strategy for what Microosft calls CIDs, or Consumer Internet Devices. Dallas says CIDs don’t just include smartphones and netbooks, but also GPS devices, portable media players, and set-top TV boxes. Windows CE can be configured to power all of these devices, because it’s a light weight OS that works well when you don’t need all the power of a desktop operating system.
And Windows CE has come a long way in the last 10 years. There are a number of powerful Windows Mobile apps, for instance, that can edit Microsoft Office documents, or play HD video. But there are some things that it’s still not going to do, such as running most apps designed for the desktop version of Windows.
What do you think? Do you see a role for Windows Embedded CE in netbooks and smartbooks? Would you rather have a fuller-featured OS like Windows, OS X, or Ubuntu Linux? Or if you like the idea of a light weight OS, would you rather use Google Chrome or a stripped down Linux distribution?